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NC Product Liability Attorneys Explain GM Faulty Ignition Switch Recall

GM recall lawsuit attorneysIn recent years, General Motors Company (GM) has issued multiple vehicle recalls for cars affected by several different kinds of defects. For example, GM recalled more than two million vehicles in the U.S. for faulty ignition switches. Vehicles with this defect may unexpectedly enter accessory mode while you are driving. In accessory mode, power is shut off to your engine, airbags, steering and brakes. If this occurs at high speeds, then motorists may face catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. Worse, GM discovered this defect more than a decade ago, but it did not issue a recall until 2014. In addition to recalling vehicles with defective ignition switches, GM also recalled 1.5 million vehicles for brake problems, defective airbag wiring and poor crashworthiness standards.

If these vehicle defects harmed you or a loved one, then you may be able to file a product liability claim against GM. Riddle & Brantley is currently investigating injuries and accidents associated with the GM faulty ignition switch recall. The North Carolina product liability attorneys at Riddle & Brantley have more than 160 years of combined experience helping victims who were harmed by defective products. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue your claim if you suffered because of a defective vehicle included in a GM recall.

Which Models Have Been Recalled by GM for Car Defects?

Current GM recalls affect millions of defective vehicles in the U.S. Models included in these recalls may include:

  • 2003-07 Saturn Ion
  • 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007 Pontiac G5
  • 2007 Saturn Sky
  • 2008-13 Buick Enclave
  • 2008-13 GMC Acadia models
  • 2008-10 Saturn Outlook
  • 2009-13 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2009-14 Chevrolet Express
  • 2009-14 GMC Savana
  • 2013-14 Cadillac XTS

Did GM Know About the Defective Ignition Switch?

GM engineers first detected the ignition switch defect in 2001 while testing the Saturn Ion. During a 2004 test-drive of the Chevrolet Cobalt, two engineers experienced the defect firsthand. In 2005, GM rejected a proposal that could have fixed the problem. Months later, 16-year-old Amber Marie Rose died when the defect caused her vehicle to crash into a tree. Investigators determined her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt’s airbags had failed to deploy because the vehicle’s electrical system had shut down. Instead of issuing a recall, GM sent dealerships Emergency Service Bulletins. These are notices that inform dealerships of minor defects along with instructions on how to perform repairs.

GM CEO Mary Barra later confessed in a public statement that the defective vehicles were the cause of “terrible things,” referring to the fatalities, injuries and accidents reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past several years.

Has GM Recalled Vehicles for Power Steering Issues?

During 2014 and 2015, GM recalled more than 1.3 million vehicles due to a separate defect that could cause a loss of power steering assist while driving. After losing power steering, it will take a greater amount of effort to control your vehicle. As a result, you could be at greater risk of crashing.

According to NHTSA, if your vehicle experiences a loss of power steering assist, a message will be displayed on the Driver Information Center and you will hear a chime. Recalled vehicle models with this defect include:

  • Chevrolet Malibu: All from model years 2004 and 2005, and some from model year 2006, 2008 and 2009.
  • Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. All models from years 2004 and 2005, and some from 2006.
  • Chevrolet HHR: Some non-turbocharged models from 2009 and 2010.
  • Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles.
  • Saturn Aura: Some models from years 2008 and 2009.
  • Saturn Ion: 2004 to 2007 vehicles, all models.
  • Pontiac G6: All model year 2005 vehicles, and some models from years 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Hurt by a Vehicle Included in the GM Faulty Ignition Switch Recall? Call Us for Help

If you or a loved one were harmed by a defective vehicle included in the GM recall, then our attorneys will fight for your right to fair compensation. Injuries caused by car defects can be life-changing and may require extensive financial resources. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury, you may require rehabilitation, home modifications and specialized medical equipment. In addition, it may be impossible to return to your former occupation. Damages from a successful product liability claim may help pay for some of these expenses. However, GM and other automakers have access to vast financial and legal resources; you can level the playing field by choosing a law firm with a proven record of success in complex product liability matters.

For more information on the GM ignition switch recall, we encourage you to review our detailed timeline of events. If you have questions about this auto defect, then contact our law firm for a free initial consultation. Our product liability attorneys can help explain your rights and possible options for pursuing compensation. To reach the attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, please call (800) 525-7111. You may also use our online case review form to describe your situation. We take cases in Raleigh, Goldsboro, Jacksonville, Kinston and all surrounding North Carolina areas.