A faulty ignition switch has led General Motors to recall nearly 780,000 older-model compact cars in North America. The switch can shut off the engine without warning and cause dangerous accidents. According to GM, six people have died in twenty-two crashes tied to the ignition switch problem in Chevrolet Cobalts from the 2005-2007 model years and Pontiac G5s from the 2007 model year. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released statements and documents yesterday that revealed that a heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads can push the ignition switch out of the run position and cut off the engine and electrical power. If that occurs, the front air bags may not deploy if there is a crash.
The six fatalities reported as a result of the ignition switch defect occurred in five front-end collisions, all of which took place off-road and at high speeds. In each instance, the engine and electrical power stopped turned off when the ignition switch moved out of the run position. Spokesman Alan Adler stated that when the engine and electrical power stop while someone is driving, power-steering assist and power-assisted brakes also stop working. Alcohol was involved in three of the deaths, and in some of the crashes the occupants of the cars were not wearing seat belts.
GM dealers will replace the ignition switch at no cost, but the timing of the recall has not yet been determined. Until the defect is corrected, GM is urging owners of effected cars to remove nonessential items from key rings. One owner of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt complained to the NHTSA last July that the engine in his vehicle turned off on several occasions. Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, stated that GM has improved the quality of its vehicles in the years since the recalled cars were manufactured; however, he went on to say that “this is another example of how potential engineering flaws from the past can come back to bit an automaker.” Adler stated that the ignition switch defect was discovered when the company received reports of crashes where the air bags did not inflate. According to the documents filed with the NHTSA, GM knew of this issue as early as May 2013.
GM recalling nearly 780,000 older compact cars www.palmbeachpost.com February 13, 2014
Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona are consumer advocates who believe that drivers must have access to safety information about the vehicles that they choose to purchase and feel safe in those vehicles as they operate them about the roadways. Unfortunately, serious automobile defects are often not found until it is too late. The Kendall automobile accident attorneys have spent over twenty years helping their clients recover compensation for injuries suffered as a result of a malfunctioning part in an automobile. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective product in an automobile, call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation. Don’t hesitate, as the law places strict restrictions on when these claims can be brought! Call today!
The Miami personal injury attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries.