The product liability attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm have protected the rights of consumers for more than 34 years. Our firm steadfastly believes that when a company reaps the benefits of placing a product into the stream of commerce, that company should also be responsible for any burdens. One such burden is ensuring that the product is free from defects that could result in serious bodily injury or death. When a company fails to take such steps, we hold them accountable and aggressively pursue compensation for accident victims.
The Facts So Far
On February 13, 2014, GM announced a recall of nearly 800,000 vehicles due to an ignition switch defect. If the vehicle were to hit a severe pothole or even if the key ring was too heavy, the defect could cause the car to turn off and also could potentially prevent the air bags from deploying in a collision. GM significantly expanded the scope of the recall to approximately 1.4 million vehicles in late February. Perhaps in response to the expansion of the recall, a federal investigation was launched to determine whether GM reacted swiftly enough to the ignition switch defects. A few weeks later, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it was launching a criminal investigation into why the recall was delayed. Then in late March 2014, GM expanded the recall by an additional 824,000 vehicles to bring the total number of recalled vehicles to nearly 2.6 million. As of March 28, 2013, GM is aware of 13 deaths caused by the defective ignition switch though the Center for Auto Safety estimates that as many as 303 deaths could be attributed to the defect.
What Vehicles are Impacted by the GM Ignition Switch Recall?
GM has already expanded the ignition switch recall twice, so owners of GM vehicles are encouraged to check GM’s official recall page for the most up-to-date information. As of April 30, 2014 the affected vehicles are:
- Chevrolet Cobalt (2005 – 2010)
- Chevrolet HHR (2006 – 2011)
- Pontiac G5 (2007 – 2010)
- Pontiac Solstice (2006 – 2010)
- Saturn Ion (2003 – 2007)
- Saturn Sky (2007 – 2010)
For drivers of these vehicles, GM has recommended that all key rings and key fobs be removed from the vehicle. You should then communicate with your GM dealer to arrange a repair.
This Particular Product Liability Suit
Product liability actions are typically extremely complex matters requiring the testimony of experts to prove fault. This recall is particularly complex due to issues stemming from GM’s bankruptcy. Despite being aware of the ignition switch defects since 2001, GM failed to disclose this defect as a potential liability. As part of the bankruptcy discharge which saw the “new GM” emerge from the “old GM”, the “new GM” was granted a shield from liability from incidents that occurred prior to July 10, 2009. What this means is that individuals involved in an accident following that date, may only be able to bring their claim against the “old GM”. Since the old GM has been liquidated, this is clearly not a very attractive option. Therefore we are working alongside experienced bankruptcy attorneys to hold GM accountable for their actions. GM should not be able to hide behind the bankruptcy process and their own failure to disclose a known defect.
Put Our 30 Years of Product Liability Experience to Work for You
For more than 34 years The Reiff Law Firm has stood up for the rights consumers by holding negligent and reckless companies and corporations accountable. For your no-obligation consultation, call us at (215) 246-9000 or contact us online