Hundreds of thousands of people have been injured or killed due to manufacturing problems associated with defective GM airbags. These airbag defects have lead to this potentially deadly device becoming the target of thousands of defective airbag recall lawsuits. Airbags are meant to protect drivers from the impact of accidents which can cause serious to fatal injuries. However, airbags themselves have become the cause of serious injuries and even death in some cases. Is your vehicle on the GM ignition switch recall list? If you’ve been hurt, it’s important you contact an airbag recall lawyer as soon as possible. The Carlson Law Firm is currently investigating claims for people injured by defective airbags. If a faulty GM ignition switch caused your injuries, a defective airbag attorney can help.
The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience representing injured clients. Our firm has the experience and the resources to take on big corporations whose negligence led to your injuries. It is important to remember that your injuries are not your fault. Let our firm take on filing paperwork, while you recover from injuries. Contact The Carlson Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation for your airbag recall lawsuit. A defective airbag attorney is ready to help you in your legal journey. We can help with your GM ignition switch recall.
What is the problem with GM’s Ignition Switches?
Almost 3 million recalled GM cars can slip into the “off” position while the vehicle is in motion. The faulty switch results in the loss of engine power, power steering, anti-lock braking, and airbags. Improper mechanical specifications are blamed for the ignition switch defect. More specifically, there is a problem with a small part called a “detent plunger”. The detent plunger that was designed to keep the ignition switch in the “on” position. This defective part did not have enough holding power to keep the switch from sometimes slipping into the “accessory” (ACC) notch, or off.
GM encouraged vehicle owners to lighten their load on the key ring citing heavy key chains as a reason for the ignition switch slippage. In addition, drivers bumping the ignition, and jarring events such as running off the road or potholes lead to ignition switch slippage.
Affected vehicles include:
- Lacrosse 2005-2009
- Lucern 2006-2011
- CTS 2003-2011
- Deville 200-2005
- DTS 2006-2011
- SRX 2004-2006
- Camaro 2010-2014
- Cobalt 2005-2010
- HHR 2006-2011
- Impala 2000-2014
- Malibu 1997-2003
- Malibu Classic 2004-2005
- Monte Carlo 2000-2007
- Alero 1999-2004
- Intrigue 1998-2002
- G5 2007-2010
- Grand Am 1999-2005
- Grand Prix 2004-2008
- Solstice 2006-2010
- Ion 2003-2007
- Sky 2007-2010
As the safety equipment in vehicles becomes increasingly complex and technology transforms, equipment can sometimes have a greater propensity for failure and defects. Despite advancements in auto technology, safer vehicle efforts don’t always coincide with the bells and whistles of emerging equipment.
What did GM do wrong?
General Motors (GM) recalled millions of vehicles due to a potential ignition switch defect beginning in 2014. However, the company knew about its faulty ignition switches as early as 2001. These switches may unintentionally cause the vehicle’s key to turn off the engine’s electrical systems. In turn, this can disable important components such as the airbags, power steering, and brakes.
GM’s flawed ignition switch recall is one of the deadliest auto recalls in history. Because of the defect, 124 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. Ultimately, the recall affected more than 30 million cars to date. The automaker is accused of being aware of a deadly flaw in its ignition switches but chose to keep customers and regulators in the dark for years.
Previously, the company was shielded from lawsuits prior to 2009 because of a bankruptcy filing, however, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court now allows the several hundred remaining unsolved wrongful death and personal injury claims against G.M. to be sent to state courts for resolution or even trials.
If you were in an auto accident, and your airbags failed to deploy, leaving you seriously injured, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an airbag recall lawyer today for more information. A defective airbag attorney can advise you on your rights.
GM Ignition Switch Recall – Defective Airbag Recall Lawsuits
General Motors knowingly put drivers in harm’s way for more than 10 years by not recalling millions of vehicles for defective ignition switches. They concealed these defects and continued to promote the defective vehicles as safe and reliable, despite knowing otherwise. Documents provided to Congress by GM confirm its employees knew about the ignition problems as early as 2004 and decided not to disclose this information or redesign because of the cost. According to reports, the cost of changing the deadly ignition switches would have been $.57 per car.
Lawsuits are a method of obtaining fair compensation and justice. When someone has suffered an injury by another person or company in some way that created financial burdens, physical harm or death. In the case of airbags, there have already been millions of participants in various individual and class action lawsuits. These cases are against both manufacturers and companies that used defective airbags in their vehicles.
Elements of a GM ignition switch recall lawsuit:
Negligence – This is a standard feature of defective product lawsuits. The consumer has a right to expect that products will be safe and function as promised and not cause harm to the user. If there are negligence based defects in product design, manufacture or installation, and those defects result in product failure leading to harm or death, a lawsuit may be a proper response.
Fair Compensation – Airbag injuries can range from small cuts to death. Fair compensation for airbag injuries can include all expenses such as emergency medical treatment at the scene, hospital fees, payment to doctors, nurses, and other medical care personnel, rehabilitation costs, special equipment, job retraining, lost income and other financial losses. If the injured person dies, survivors may file airbag lawsuits for personal losses of guardianship, companionship, and consortium, and for financial losses, their loved one would have provided, such as income and future inheritance.
Product Liability – Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. As a result, responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain.
A GM Ignition Switch Recall attorney will be able to advise you on your rights, and what your best options are when it comes to an airbag recall lawsuit.
How are GM Airbags Failing?
In many cases because of faulty GM ignition switches, airbags did not deploy or deployed too late in car crashes. This problem is closely linked to faulty ignition switches. Because ignition switches can shift from on to off, it could shut off the engine while driving thus preventing airbags from deploying. During congressional testimony, GM initially argued that its vehicles’ airbags could deploy for 60 seconds after the engine stalled. However, the company later told the Associated Press that the airbags can only deploy for about 150 milliseconds after an engine stalls.
Airbags that don’t deploy in the time frame necessary to protect vehicle occupants from the impact. Further, failed deployment may not give protection needed to prevent serious injuries during a collision or rollover accident. The National Highway Transportation Safety Association found that from 1990 to 2007, the deaths of 284 Americans, including 180 children, were due to a defective airbag. Thousands of non-fatal airbag injuries also occurred.
If you suffered an injury or a loved one was killed by a defective airbag, contact The Carlson Law Firm today. A defective airbag attorney from our firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Defective Airbag Injuries
For all the good they can do, airbags can and do fail to perform properly. For example, they can fail to activate fully when there’s a crash, or they may deploy or activate by mistake when there isn’t one. When an airbag doesn’t deploy in a traffic accident, those in the vehicle may be seriously injured or even killed.
Airbags are estimated to have contributed to a reduction in accident fatalities by up to 30 percent. Although airbags are a piece of auto equipment meant to improve the safety of a vehicle for auto occupants, defective airbags can also increase the risk of injuries. For example, malfunctions, defects and design inadequacies may cause issues like:
- The airbag can fail to deploy
- The airbag may deploy at the wrong time
- Sensor defects or faulty wiring can lead to a failure to deploy
While proper function is vital to offering optimum safety during an accident, defective airbags can injure occupants if designed improperly, manufactured inadequately or not installed correctly. Some of the injuries vehicle drivers and passengers could endure should a defective airbag malfunction, may include:
- Cervical spinal cord injury
- Sharpnel injury
- Facial trauma
- Eye injuries
- Rib fractures
- Head injury
- Burn injuries caused by the chemicals used to inflate airbags
- Dislocated and fractured shoulders
- Premature rupture of membranes in pregnant women
What is the Importance of Crash Sensors?
Malfunctioning crash sensors sometimes lead to airbag deployment. Defective crash sensors can fail to function properly because of bad wiring, faulty electronic control unit or poor design and testing of the vehicle’s crash-worthiness and because of the way the airbags react to a collision. In some instances, one airbag will deploy for one vehicle occupant while another will fail to protect a passenger or driver in another portion of the car. Manufacturers may even cut corners when it comes to crash sensors, providing an inadequate number throughout the vehicle or by using sensors that fail to deploy airbags during a collision.
New technology can determine whether there was a malfunction with the airbags. For example, crash sensors in a vehicle or whether an airbag deployed too late. Consequently, the information housed in crash sensors is important for the defective airbag attorney pursuing your claim.
GM Power Steering Recall
The GM ignition switch recall is not the only problem plaguing GM. In 2014, the company initiated a recall when it found 800,000 of its vehicles could suddenly lose power steering. The recall came after the company made attempts to handle issues internally with car models whose steering system suddenly became difficult.
According to the NHTSA, low electrical power triggers the problem. For instance, when a vehicle is using a lot of electrical power, including during low-speed turns, the trucks’ power levels dropping below a certain point may suddenly disable power.
GM Ignition Switch Recall Affected Vehicles include:
- Buick Enclave 2008-2013
- Chevy Traverse 2009-2013
- GMC Acadia 2008-2013
- Saturn Outlook 2008-2010
- Chevy Malibu Maxx 2004-2006
- Chevy Malibu 2004-2009
- Pontiac G6 2005-2009
- Saturn Aura 2008-2009
- Saturn Ion 2004-2007
Why You Should File a GM Ignition Switch Recall or Defective Airbag Lawsuit
You don’t have to suffer in silence for your injuries. It is important to realize that you are not to blame for your injuries. GM was well aware of its faulty ignition switches as early as 2001. In addition, the company had knowledge of the defective airbags well before it initiated a recall. GM acknowledges its requirement to pay substantial compensation to individuals injured or killed in failed ignition switch accidents.
Obtaining the proper compensation for yourself or your family requires product liability lawyers to ensure the automaker is held accountable for their actions. By contacting our firm, a defective airbag attorney can discuss your legal options with you.
How A Defective Airbag Attorney at The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Product-related injuries are traumatic experiences. It can be challenging to determine who may be liable for your injuries, medical costs, and other damages. Knowing when to contact an airbag recall lawyer to handle your product liability claim can is often a differentiating factor. A qualified defective airbag attorney may be the difference between receiving fair compensation for your injuries. Contact our firm today to find out if a GM Ignition Switch Recall Lawsuit is the right choice for you.
If you or someone you loved has been seriously injured because of a defective airbag or defective equipment associated with an airbag, call an airbag recall lawyer or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Our experienced attorneys, professional consultants, investigative team and caring staff will help you uncover answers to the questions surrounding your airbag malfunction injuries. Further, we can help you seek just compensation for your injuries and loss. We care. We can help.