The GM Ignition Switch: What went wrong

Beasley Allen lawyer Mike Andrews demonstrates what went wrong.

The GM recall now encompasses more than 29 million cars. While these recalls encompass many makes and year models, and address a variety of problems, the largest and most serious group involve a defective GM ignition switch. The ignition can slip from the “run” to the “accessory” or “off” position, cutting power and causing drivers to lose control of the vehicle. How does this happen? In this video, Beasley Allen lawyer Mike Andrews demonstrates how the ignition switch functions, and what went wrong with the GM ignition switch. General Motors (GM) began recalling small cars including the Chevy Cobalt in February 2014 for a defective ignition switch, but evidence shows the automaker knew about the problem for more than a decade. The first GM switch recall eventually included 2.6 million cars. In June, GM announced another recall for 3.4 million midsize and large cars for the GM ignition switch defect. June 30, GM recalled an additional 8.2 million cars worldwide, with the majority affected by an ignition switch defect.

GM has established a victims compensation fund, which is being independently administered by Kenneth Feinberg. The plan will begin reviewing claims August 1.

According to the plan, the following vehicles are eligible:

Production Part Vehicles
(Ignition Switch Recall Repair was not Performed Prior to the Accident)

  • Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2005-2007)
  • Chevrolet HHR (Model Years 2006-2007)
  • Daewoo G2X (Model Year 2007)
  • Opel/Vauxhall GT (Model Year 2007)
  • Pontiac G4 (Model Years 2005-2006)
  • Pontiac G5 (Model Year 2007)
  •  Pontiac Pursuit (Model Years 2005-2006)
  • Pontiac Solstice (Model Years 2006-2007)
  • Saturn Ion (Model Years 2003-2007)
  • Saturn Sky (Model Year 2007)

Service Part Vehicles
(Ignition Switch was Replaced by a Dealer or Independent Service Center with an Ignition Switch bearing Part Number 10392423)

  • Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Chevrolet HHR (Model Years 2008-2011)
  • Daewoo G2X (Model Years 2008-2009)
  • Opel/Vauxhall GT (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Pontiac G5 (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Pontiac Solstice (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Saturn Sky (Model Years 2008-2010)

After some initial hesitation, after a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Feinberg, it was decided Beasley Allen will submit claims, including death claims and those involving personal injury, to the plan. “I believe our clients will receive fair treatment from the Claims Administrator. Of course there will be clients of ours who will prefer to keep their claims in the courts. We will continue to file lawsuits, but will give the plan a chance to work. If it doesn’t work for our clients we will have the option of going back to the court system,” says Beasley Allen Founding Shareholder Jere L. Beasley.

If you would like to speak with Mike about the GM Recall, you can reach him at mike.andrews@beasleyallen.com

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