A defective ignition switch installed in General Motors vehicles has caused thirteen deaths and severely injured a Houston-area woman. Tiffany Adams, a 30 year old Sam Houston State University graduate, was traveling on U.S. 59 on December 23, 2013. A defective “ignition module” caused her key placed in the ignition to inadvertently switch from the “run” to the “off” or “accessory” position. As a result, Adams’ 2007 Pontiac Solstice spun out of control, hit a tree and prevented Adams’ airbags from deploying. The impact left Adams with a broken neck, broken ribs and injuries to both of her legs that required amputation. About two months after the accident that took her legs and broke her spine, Ms. Adams received a letter from GM informing her that her vehicle was being recalled.
According to the recall letter Adams received, under certain conditions, the ignition switch involuntarily moves from the “run” to “off” or “accessory” setting. This movement causes partial loss of electrical power and the sudden shut-down of engine mid-travel. Not only will this defect prevent the airbags from deploying and cause the engine to turn off, it also turns off power steering and anti-lock brakes. According to Delphi Automotive, the manufacturer of the ignition switch, the defective ignition switch costs merely $2 to $5 to repair. Adams has filed suit against GM and the manufacturer alleging that GM engineers knew about the defect as early as 2001. GM has acknowledged that this particular defect has already caused at least 13 deaths.
If you or someone you know have been injured or killed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, or by a defective product, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.