General Motors Recall Attorneys

Update: GM Lawsuits to Be Consolidated

Lawyers who are suing General Motors Co. have put in a request with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington to consolidate the lawsuits filed due to the faulty ignition switch.

With more than three million vehicles recalled, it is likely that the situation will result in a high volume of lawsuits filed in multiple jurisdictions. Currently, 15 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts by consumers who seek to represent other GM customers in class-action cases.

One lawyer is asking the judge to order General Motors to issue a “Park It Now” order which would urge owners to not drive their recalled vehicle until it has been repaired. The request also asks that GM pay for rental cars or provide loaner vehicles for all affected GM vehicle drivers.

Have you been injured or suffered the loss of a loved one in an accident that may have been caused by a defective GM part? You may be eligible to file a compensation claim.

The law offices of Tapella & Eberspacher are currently accepting inquiries on this issue and welcome the opportunity to discuss your incident.

Don't delay. Call our legal team today at (855) 522-5291 or fill out our "Free Case Evaluation" form and we will contact you shortly.

We are offering 100% FREE consultations to GM recall victims and we only get paid when we win.

General Motors Makes and Models Affected

woman hurt in an accidentIn early February 2014, General Motors (GM) announced a massive recall that affected millions of vehicle owners in North America. Just weeks after the announcement, the U.S. attorney’s office launched a criminal investigation into the company’s handling

The initial February 10th announcement by GM affected approximately 619,122 makes and models while three days later, another 748,024 vehicles were withdrawn from the market.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, under certain conditions the vehicle’s ignition switch could move out of the “run” position which could result in the loss of electrical power. The loss of such power could turn the engine off as well as other electronic components such as the airbags.

In fact, a faulty ignition switch has caused dozens of accidents and led to the death of 12 people; the number could increase once the investigation has been completed.

The following makes and models were affected:

Vehicle Make

Model

Model Years

Pontiac

G5

2007

Pontiac

Solstice

2006-2007

Chevrolet

Cobalt

2005-2007

Chevrolet

HHR

2006-2007

Saturn

ION

2003-2007

Saturn

Sky

2007

 

GM sent out customer communications to affected vehicle owners and said that repairs will be made for free. Additionally, the motor company is offering free loaner cars and a $500 allowance to owners who want to buy or lease a new GM vehicle.

However, according to the GM website, parts for fixing the issue may not be available until early April leaving many drivers at risk of being injured.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by the defective ignition switch, contact Tapella & Eberspacher to determine what your legal rights are.

GM Investigation Timeline

man on phone after accidentAccording to GM, approximately 22 auto accidents were linked to the defect which led to the death of six people.

However, as investigations into the matter continued it has been revealed that a number of engineers, managers and other staff at GM knew about the problem nearly a decade ago and many more victims were involved.

It has been speculated that due to the cost of correcting the issue, a calculated gamble was made by certain executives and employees at the automaker made the decision to continue using these defective components despite the collisions that they may cause.

  • 2001 – After testing the Saturn Ion, General Motors discovered that there was a problem with the ignition switch. The company says they made a design change in order to fix the issue.
  • 2003 – A service technician observed a vehicle unexpectedly stalling after the ignition switch had moved into the off position while driving.
  • 2004 – General Motors noted that if a driver bumps the ignition in a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, it could switch off and turn the engine down.
  • 2005 – A GM engineer suggests redesigning the key head, but the proposal is rejected. In July 2005, Amber Marie Rose dies after the airbag in her 2005 Chevy Cobalt failed to deploy; this is the first death tied to the defective ignition switch. In December 2005, GM issues a service bulletin that advises dealers about the problem, but they do not issue a recall.
  • 2007 – Safety regulators tell GM employees about the July 2005 accident, but they do not open a formal investigation. In April 2007, an investigator suggests to regulators that the fatal crash was linked to the ignition problem. Again, regulators fail to open an investigation. By the end of 2007 GM is tracking the problem and discovers that four more crashes occurred when the engine was off and airbags failed.
  • 2010 – Chevy discontinues the production of the Cobalt.
  • 2013 – GM determines that the faulty ignition switch was related to 31 crashes and 12 deaths.
  • 2014 – GM recalls more than 619,000 Cobalts and Pontiac G5s; the recall is expanded three days later to cover all 1.36 million vehicles affected.

Less than one month after the initial recall was announced, the U.S attorney’s office announced that there will be a criminal investigation into the timeline and the company’s disclosures to regulators.

Consumer watchdog group, the Center for Auto Safety, performed their own study into hundreds of complaints involving the defective ignition switch in Saturn Ions and Chevy Cobalts and believe that more than 300 deaths were caused when the airbag failed.

Additional Defective GM Vehicles

gm office flagsOn March 17, 2014, General Motors announced that they would be taking an additional 1.5 million cars off the market to fix dangerous defects.

More than 1.2 million crossover SUVs need wiring re-done as the airbags could fail to deploy; 64,000 full-size sedans have brakes that could overheat and cause a fire; and 303,000 vans need material on the instrument panel replaced as it could fail to protect passengers in an auto crash.

The following makes and models have been affected:

Vehicle Make

Model

Model Years

Buick

Enclave

2008-2013

GMC

Acadia

2008-2013

Chevrolet

Traverse

2009-2013

Saturn

Outlook

2008-2010

Cadillac

XTS

2013-2014

Chevrolet

Express

2009-2014

GMC

Savana

2009-2014

 

According to GM, no injuries have been reported as a result of these defects. However, investigations into complaints made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration note that there have been at least four collisions involving airbags that failed to deploy which lead to serious injuries.

How Can Our Lawyers Help You?

shaking hands in agreementAlthough General Motors will be repairing affected vehicles, many victims and their families have still suffered as a result of the company’s inability to withdraw the dangerous vehicles sooner.

Did you know that according to the New York Times, since February 2003, there were more than 260 complaints involving the dangerous ignition switch?

If you have been injured in a crash that involved a GM vehicle that was affected by this recall, call our experienced legal team today at 855-522-5291.

Our product liability law firm can help anyone who has been affected by this situation whether directly in an automotive accident or indirectly after the loss of a loved one.

We can help investigate your claim and determine if you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.

Contact our Product Liability Attorneys Today

attorney william tapellaConsumers often investigate safety ratings for vehicles they are going to purchase. Unfortunately, when GM failed to report this vehicle defect and kept these dangerous vehicles on the market, they put consumers at risk.

At the law offices of Tapella & Eberspacher we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims injured by large companies and corporations. We can retain top experts in areas such as product design and accident reconstruction to make a powerful case.

We have offices located throughout Illinois and also proudly serve victims in the St. Louis, Missouri area. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at (855) 522-5291 – a member of our intake team will connect you with one of our attorneys best suited in handling your claim.

Our team of attorneys work on a contingency basis and if we take your case, there are no attorney fees unless you receive compensation.

If you would prefer to contact us online, fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top right hand corner – it’s completely confidential.