General Motors issued a recall last year for faulty ignition switches that resulted in fatal accidents for many affected cars. The switch would fall out of place from its 'On' placement, and knock out power steering, cause a stall while driving, or disable airbags. Despite their claims of fixing the problem, new information alleges that GM knew of the defect for over a decade before acting on it, when a case was brought against them. The information was revealed in an investigation following the claim, as well as shedding light to an estimated 30 million cars carrying the defect.
The first of six bellwether trials for claims remaining against General Motors Co. will begin this month in New York City. The plaintiff in this first trial, Robert S. Scheuer, suffered a vehicular collision in Oklahoma. Mr. Scheuer blames a faulty ignition switch for preventing his airbags from deploying during the crash. It will be the first from hundreds of lawsuits filed against GM after it revealed in 2014 that faulty ignition switches in Chevy Cobalts and other small cars required recall. The ignition switches can slip out of the on position and cause the cars to turn off the air bags, stall, and stop the power steering.
Plaintiffs suing General Motors Co in connection with faulty ignition switches in its cars have added civil racketeering (RICO) allegations in an amended complaint recently filed in federal court in Manhattan. The plaintiffs accuse the company of conspiring with a law firm and a claims-management company to conceal the defect, which has been linked to 114 deaths.
Over the past several months, General Motors (GM) has recalled over 29 million vehicles. This staggering number is more than the total amount of vehicles GM has sold in the last seven model years. Most if not all of the recalls are related to safety issues such as faulty ignition switches. This problem dates as far back as 2003 and is potentially deadly.
Federal regulators recently imposed the biggest punishment they could on General Motors and condemned it over its failure to promptly report a defect that has been linked to 13 deaths. GM will pay a $35 million dollar penalty, which is the maximum allowed and the largest fine ever imposed on an automaker. GM will be required to make a wide range of changes to its safety practices that will be supervised by the government, which is another first for the automaker. David Friedman of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that the investigation of GM found "deeply disturbing" evidence over how GM treated safety concerns. Friedman also cited an internal presentation from 2008 that was used to train employees to obscure some problems.
Still recuperating from controversy involving a faulty ignition switch, General Motors announced three new recalls recently involving another 1.8 million vehicles. The biggest of the recalls affects 1.2 million of its popular SUV models that need to have wiring for their seat-mounted airbags fixed. The models involved are the 2008-2013 Buick Enclave and the GMC Arcadia, along with the 2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse. Those vehicles have a warning light that reads "Service Air Bag". If a costumer ignores the light it can eventually result in the non-deployment of the airbags and other safety features in case of a side impact collision.