GM Recall Class Action Filed

In March, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of consumers who purchases General Motors (GM) vehicles that have since become subject to a massive recall for a defective ignition switch.

GM recalled more than 1.4 million vehicles in February after admitting the ignition switch has a design defect that may allow the key to unintentionally slip from the “run” to “off” or “accessory” position while the vehicle is being operated. The ignition defect can cause the sudden loss of engine power, braking and steering, creating a hazardous emergency situation.

The class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California against General Motors LLC; General Motors Holding, LLC; Delphi Automotive PLC; and DPH-DAS LLC f/k/a Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC. Plaintiffs representing the class are Esperanza Ramirez, Judy Murray, Robert Wyman, Diana Cnossen, Judy Pickens, Penny Brooks, Kim Genovese, Stephanie Renee Carden, Melissa Cave, Linda Writ, Dianne Huff and Garrett S. Mancieri.

The complaint charges GM with breach of warranty, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and breach of the covenant of good faith and alleges GM did not reveal its knowledge of the defective ignition switch to government regulators or its customers.

Recalled vehicles include the 2005-2007 model year Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, and 2003-2007 model year Saturn Ion, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky vehicles.

If you own one of the recalled vehicles, you may be eligible to join the class action lawsuit to be compensated for economic losses related to the vehicles. Fill out the contact form to reach an attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Faulty ignition switch linked to 12 deaths

Major American auto manufacturer General Motors (GM) is facing a potential wave of personal injury, wrongful death and product liability claims related to a recent recall of 1.4 million vehicles for a faulty ignition switch. The defect is blamed for at least 12 deaths. Following on the heels of that recall, the auto giant announced another recall, this time involving 1.2 million crossover SUV vehicles, citing problems with the side-impact airbags and other side-impact safety systems.

On Feb. 13, General Motors (GM) recalled 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and certain Pontiac vehicles to repair an ignition switch problem that can allow the key to unintentionally slip from its “run” position to the “accessory” position when the car hits a bump or if the keychain is too heavy. As a result, the defect can cause an engine shutdown and loss of power steering, brakes, and safety systems, including the vehicle’s airbags and anti-lock brakes.

GM expanded the recall on Feb. 25 to include hundreds of thousands of additional Chevy, Pontiac, and Saturn cars, bringing the total number of affected vehicles in the U.S. to 1.4 million, not including thousands of other vehicles worldwide.

Twelve deaths and 31 crashes so far have been linked to the defective switches.

However, depositions taken during a civil lawsuit against GM revealed the auto maker knew in 2004, a decade before it issued a recall, that its Chevrolet Cobalt had an ignition switch that could inadvertently shut off the engine while driving.

Now, federal officials have opened a criminal probe into General Motors’ ignition switch recall to determine if and why the company waited more than a decade to correct the problem. It faces investigations by federal safety regulators, both houses of Congress and the Justice Department.
GM could be held criminally liable for failing to abide by U.S. laws mandating that automakers notify federal regulators and issue a safety recall within five days of discovering a safety defect.

A study commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety, a Washington D.C.-based consumer watchdog group, reveals as many as 303 people may have been killed in crashes involving GM vehicles with defective ignition switches. Friedman Research analyzed data from the federal auto Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a national database collecting auto crash records from throughout the country.

Researchers combed the data for deaths in non-rear impact crashes involving airbag failure in two of the recalled models, 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalts and 2003-07 Saturn Ions. However, the FARS figures are considered to be “raw data” and it can’t be said conclusively at this time that the 303 crash deaths are linked to the ignition defect.

Vehicles included in the U.S. recall are 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2007 Pontiac G5s, 2003-07 Saturn Ions, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstices and Saturn Skys.

GM Crossover SUVs recalled for possible airbag defects

On March 18, 2014, General Motors (GM) announced a recall involving 1.2 million crossover SUV vehicles, citing possible defects in the side-impact airbags and other side-impact safety systems. The recall includes the 2008-13 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, the 2009-13 Chevrolet Traverse, and the 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook.

GM says there may be a problem with the wiring in the seat-mounted side airbags. It says customers will see a warning light on the vehicle dashboard saying “Service Air Bag.” If the warning light is ignored, GM says the potential defect can cause the side-impact airbags not to work in the event of a crash. The same defect may also affect other side-impact crash safety systems, according to GM.

There are no injuries reported in relation to the potential side-airbag defect.