BECAUSE THE RESULTS OBTAINED IN SPECIFIC CASES DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, PAST CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN FUTURE CASES UNDERTAKEN BY A LAWYER OR LAW FIRM.
Due to concerns involving a faulty ignition switch, General Motors (GM) launched a series of safety recalls in early 2014. The list has steadily grown to more than 29 million vehicles from across the country, including Richmond and Virginia.
GM has officially linked 13 deaths and 31 accidents to the ignition switch defect. However, many more crashes, injuries and deaths may be connected. In fact, more than 100 fatality claims have been submitted to GM through a special compensation fund program.
If you believe that you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a defective GM ignition switch, the attorneys of Marks & Harrison want to put our strengths and resources to work for you. To arrange for a free consultation, simply contact us today by phone or online.
The flaw in the GM ignition switches stems from a part that fails to produce needed tension. Due to this weaker tension, the ignition switch may suddenly move out of the “run” position, or turn off the engine, if the car is shaken. If this occurs, the car can lose power, causing its power steering and power-assisted brakes to fail. Also, if a crash occurs, air bags may not deploy.
Several news outlets report that GM first discovered the ignition switch defect during tests of the Saturn Ion in 2001. The company detected it again in the Chevy Cobalt in 2004. GM reportedly rejected a proposal to fix the defect in 2005 that would have cost only 57 cents per vehicle.
Even after a Maryland driver died in a July 2005 crash in a Chevy Cobalt that investigators linked to a faulty ignition switch, GM did not recall any vehicles.
In fact, GM did not recall a single vehicle due to the ignition switch defect until February 7, 2014, when it recalled roughly 800,000 Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles. The automaker followed with recalls in March, May and June 2014.
According to an internal inquiry conducted by a former U.S. attorney, GM’s massive ignition switch recalls in 2014 are the product of a “history of failures” and a “pattern of incompetence and neglect.” Even the company’s CEO issued a videotaped apology to consumers, stating that “something went very wrong” in the company’s handling of this safety issue.
According to General Motors, the following vehicles have been officially recalled by GM due to defective ignition switches:
If your vehicle has been recalled by GM due to a flawed ignition switch, you should receive a letter. It will inform you of the steps you can take to have your vehicle repaired.
If you have not yet received a letter, you can go to the GM Recall Center and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) into a database. It’s an easy process. However, it may not be a reliable one. News reports indicate that some consumers with recalled vehicles have not found their cars when using the automaker’s VIN look-up site.
You may also contact GM directly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a list of contact numbers. The NHTSA also features a form that can be filled out to file a GM vehicle-related complaint.
You can also contact Marks & Harrison.
In June, GM announced that it had established a fund to compensate those who have suffered serious physical injury or lost a loved one due to a defective ignition switch. It should take between 90 to 180 days for GM to make a decision on your claim. GM will be accepting claims through December 31, 2014.
Once you accept an offer from GM, you waive your right to take any other legal action. This is why it is important to have your case reviewed first by an attorney. Marks & Harrison is available to assist you. We do not want you to accept an offer that fails to fully and fairly compensate you for your losses.
If you believe that you have suffered injury or lost a loved one due to a recalled GM defective ignition switch, the legal team at Marks & Harrison can conduct a thorough investigation of your case.
We can help you determine if you may be eligible for compensation, and we can assess the amount of compensation that you should rightfully receive. Additionally, we can help you determine if filing a claim through the GM compensation fund or pursuing your case in state or federal court will be in your best interests.
Our law firm is one of the largest in Virginia that focuses its strengths and resources exclusively on helping those who have been harmed by the wrongdoing of others, including consumers who have been impacted by defective automobiles or automotive parts.
Please see Our Results for examples of the many different kinds of motor vehicle accident cases that our firm has handled for clients, including cases referred to us by other attorneys.
At Marks & Harrison, we are focused on helping those who have been physically, mentally and financially harmed by an automaker’s failure to live up to the duty it owed consumers. If you have been impacted by the GM defective ignition switch recall, we want to help. Please contact us today and allow us to get started on seeking the relief you deserve.
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