Six Deaths Linked to Faulty GM Ignition Switches
Faulty ignition switches in General Motors' Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles built between 2005 and 2007 have been linked to six deaths in North America. This marks the fourth recall linked to deaths by automakers over the past few years.
The GM recall involves ignition switches that may shut the vehicle off when jarred. In addition, heavy key rings can pull the switch mechanism out of the "run" position and into "accessory" or "off" while the vehicle is in motion. Because this causes the car to stall, power steering and braking become inoperable, while, in some cases, airbags cannot deploy due to loss of power. There have been at least 22 accidents linked to the faulty ignition switches, which GM says may not have met quality standards.
Because the vehicles are older models, many of them may have been traded-in or sold to a second or third owner. Because subsequent owners rarely register vehicles with the manufacturer, GM says it may be difficult to identify and replace ignition switches in all faulty models. GM has not manufactured the vehicles for several years, but they are commonly found as used vehicles and are popular among low-budget car shoppers.
GM is urging all Cobalt and G5 owners to contact their local GM dealer to have the ignition switch checked and replaced. In addition, the company says that drivers of the vehicles should remove all non-essential items from key rings until they have the vehicle inspected. The company reports there are over 750,000 affected vehicles on the roads, and that additional incidents could occur in the future. GM says that there were five front-impact crashes that resulted in six fatalities, and in all cases, the front air bags did not deploy. All the crashes involving fatalities were high-speed crashes and the company says that the chance of serious or fatal injuries was high in any circumstances. Two of the five involved alcohol say company officials.
When a vehicle defect is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in a car accident that causes injury or death, a wrongful death claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an auto accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by a vehicle defect.