Yesterday General Motors (GM) announced the recall of another 3.16 million vehicles related to its defective ignition switch. The latest recall involves midsize and large automobiles from the 2000 to 2014 year models, including Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac Deville, Cadillac DTS, Buick Lucerne, Buick Regal and Chevy Monte Carlo. Like earlier recalls, the ignition switch in these vehicles may move from the “run” position to the “off” or “accessory” position, disabling power steering and brakes during operation, also possibly deactivating the airbags.GM says it is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to this latest recall.
Jere Beasley and Lance Cooper, the attorneys representing Ken and Beth Melton, whose daughter died in a Chevy Cobalt crash linked to the defective ignition switch, say this latest batch of recalls simply underscores the fact that GM has not come clean about the extent of its problems. GM is currently on the hot seat with Congressional investigators following its mishandling of a massive recall of 2.6 million vehicles for an ignition switch defect linked to more than 13 deaths. GM CEO Mary Barra is set to testify before Congress tomorrow, following the release of its investigation into the company’s conduct.
“Just how many more defective GM cars are on the road? Can we really trust GM to tell us? It doesn’t seem so.” Beasley says. “This automaker has lots of explaining to do to the American people. The years of deceit and cover-up have taken a toll that is being revealed now on almost a weekly basis. It’s time for GM to come clean and start telling the truth. A good time to start is tomorrow in the Congressional hearing!”
“The new GM recalling more than 3 million additional vehicles due to key system defects is not surprising,” Cooper says. “Once the Melton case revealed GM’s sick corporate culture, it was only a matter of time until these defects in other GM vehicles were uncovered. This most recent recall highlights the importance of the civil justice system in making sure that GM ultimately does the right thing by recalling all of the vehicles that have the key system defects and accepting responsibility for the harm caused by accidents and injuries resulting from these defects.”
Last Friday, GM recalled more than 500,000 Chevrolet Camaros for what it says is a problem with the key fob. The auto giant says the ignition switch in the 2010-2014 year model Camaro can be moved out of the “run” position when the key fob is jostled by the drivers’ knee, causing the car to lose power, including power brakes and steering. GM says the defect is linked to three crashes. A GM spokesman confirmed the air bags did not deploy in the affected vehicles, but says the company is still investigating if the ignition switch defect caused the non-deployment.
GM initially recalled about 780,000 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles on Feb. 13. Twelve days later, it expanded the recall to include an additional 590,000 model-year 2003-07 Saturn Ion, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky vehicles. The total number of recalled vehicles now numbers about 2.6 million related to an ignition switch defect that allows the key to unintentionally slip from the “run” to “off” or “accessory” position while the vehicle is being operated. The ignition defect causes the sudden loss of engine power, braking and steering, creating a hazardous emergency situation. The air bag system is also disabled and rendered useless.
Beasley Allen and The Cooper Firm have filed lawsuits related to the ignition switch defect. Lance Cooper, founder of The Cooper Firm, is the lawyer who first discovered GM’s ignition switch defect and uncovered the automaker’s cover-up, which finally led to massive recalls. Court documents and other evidence reveal that GM knew about the ignition switch problem as early as 2001. However, GM rejected several design changes and solutions that were recommended by its own engineers on numerous occasions because of the cost and the time it would take to make the changes.
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