It is no secret that the past several years have been difficult for General Motors. The financial crisis in 2007 resulted in severe liquidity problems for the company which eventually culminated in the automaker’s bankruptcy and the 2009 government bailout. While these financial events were unfolding, a major safety debacle was brewing – the GM ignition switch defect. Over the vast majority of the 2000s and 2010s, tens of millions of vehicles were produced with this particular design flaw.
Unfortunately it appears that GM’s vehicle safety issues are far from over. General Motors Company ended the 2014 year by announcing an additional three vehicle recalls. The remainder of this post will discuss the ordered recalls and the risks that vehicle defects impose on your family’s health and safety.
GM Announces Another Ignition-Lock Defect
The latest recall announced by GM also effects the ignition-lock system and an affected vehicle’s electrical systems. GM states that this problem was identified through a review of data provided through warranty parts returns. While a number of injuries and deaths have been reported in relation to the broader ignition switch defect, it is believed that this particular actuator issue has not resulted in any accidents, injuries or deaths.
This issue can arise in an affected vehicle when the oversized actuator lock mechanism traps the key in the Start position. If the vehicle experienced a significant jolt or a jarring event, the ignition’s lock cylinder can slip into the accessory position. By moving into this position, the vehicle’s electrical systems are affected and the car, truck or SUV will move into a different power mode. By moving into the accessory position a vehicle can lose engine power, power steering, and power braking. Furthermore, when the vehicle’s electrical system is affected, vehicle airbags may fail to deploy thus exacerbating any injuries that may be caused due to a loss of control.
It is reported that nearly 85,000 vehicles – mostly SUVs and pickups – are affected by this new ignition switch actuator defect. Specific models affected by this latest GM ignition switch defect include model years 2011 through 2013:
- Chevrolet Silverado light-duty & heavy duty pickups
- Cadillac Escalade
- Escalade ESV
- Escalade EXT
- Chevrolet Avalanche
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- GMC Sierra
- GMC Yukon
- GMC Yukon XL
These reported defects can be identified and repaired by your vehicle dealer. If you suspect that your truck or SUV is affected by this problem, seek repair immediately. If you have already suffered a catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of a loved one due to a suspected auto-defect, contact an experienced vehicle defect attorney, like those of The Reiff Law Firm, today.
2 Additional Safety Recalls Affect Pickup Trucks
In addition to the first new ignition switch problem, two additional recalls were announced by GM. While these recalls are significantly less prevalent than the previously discussed recall, the consequences of these problems can still be extremely serious.
The first of these two additional defects affect the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra. In these vehicles, the rear axle may have received insufficient heat treatment. This defective part can result in a rear-axle fracture or break while the vehicle is being driven. Perhaps needless to say, this particular defect could result in a loss of control leading to a severe collision.
The second of these additional defects affect the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra HD. This recall campaign was initiated due to a loose or faulty hose clamp present on some vehicles. The particular hose clamp at issue secures the fuel tank vent line. This defect can result in the hose detaching and creating a fuel leak which greatly increases the likelihood of a vehicle fire.
2014 Set Records For Vehicle Defect Recalls
As discussed in our year-end wrap-up blog post, 2014 has the dubious distinction of smashing records for car, truck and SUV recalls. At large, the auto industry recalled more than 63.5 million vehicles in 2014. This tally more than doubled the previous record set in 2004 when roughly 30.8 million vehicles were recalled.
For its part, GM contributed significantly to this total. According to GM’s own count, the company recalled 26,951,675 vehicles in 2014. These recalls occurred across 84 recall campaigns announced during 2014. In fact, the only other recall campaign to approach GM’s tally is the Takata exploding airbag recall. However, the airbag recall differs in that this problem affects a broad array of major auto manufacturers including Honda, BMW, Toyota, Lexus, and many others.
Put our Auto-Defect Experience to Work for You
At The Reiff Law Firm our attorneys have dedicated themselves to fighting for compensation for those injured by defective products and auto accidents for 34 years. If you have suffered a severe injury – like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or broken bones – or a loved one has been killed due to an auto defect, call (215) 246-9000 to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation.