Were You Injured in an Accident Caused by a Defective GM Automobile?
Attorneys at Hasbrook & Hasbrook are investigating the claims of Oklahoma City area residents who have experienced tragedy due to a defective ignition switch or undeployed air bag in a General Motors vehicle. Hasbrook & Hasbrook is one of Oklahoma’s leading law firms in the practice areas of product liability, wrongful death and personal injury.
A slew of ignition and air bag problems have affected Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, Pontiac and other GM makes from 1997 to the present, resulting in deaths, injuries and scores of lawsuits. (See a full list of affected vehicles at the bottom of this page).
GM has issued a staggering 60 recalls during 2014 involving 29 million vehicles, including almost 25 million in the U.S. The recalls address numerous problems with GM cars and trucks, including faulty ignition switches, failure of air bags to deploy and loss of power steering.
Not only has a multitude of vehicle problems been revealed, but it has also come to light that GM knew about many of the problems for up to 11 years, but did nothing to warn the public.
Scores of lawsuits against GM fall into several categories, including:
- Wrongful death and personal injury suits. The faulty ignition switches have resulted in at least 13 deaths and 54 accidents, according to GM’s own count. However, other sources put total deaths at more than 300, and the number of serious injuries may number in the thousands.
- Class action suits on behalf of GM vehicle owners, who have seen the resale value of their vehicles drop severely due to GM’s negligent handling of the problems and the resulting devaluation of GM brands.
- Securities fraud class action lawsuits on behalf of GM investors, who have seen GM’s share price fall during 2014.
Hasbrook & Hasbrook is investigating such wrongful death and personal injury claims on behalf of Oklahoma residents and their loved ones who have experienced fatalities or injuries while driving a GM car that malfunctioned.
Hasbrook & Hasbrook does not handle class action lawsuits. However, if you have experienced financial loss due to owning a GM vehicle or GM stocks, we can refer you to excellent Oklahoma City attorneys who practice class action litigation.
Problems with Ignition Switches, Keys and Air Bags
Of the 29 million GM vehicles that have been recalled during 2014, more than half, totaling 17.3 million vehicles, were recalled due to ignition switch problems. While the vehicle is being driven, the ignition switch may unexpectedly turn off the engine, which may also shut down the electrical system. Loss of power steering, power brakes and other electrical components can result in an accident and can also cause the air bag to fail to deploy.
One tragic incident involved a Texas driver and passenger. In 2004 they were traveling in a Saturn Ion on a rural road outside of Dallas. The car suddenly swerved into a tree, the air bags did not deploy, and the passenger was killed.
When it was discovered that the driver had a trace amount of the anxiety medication, Xanax, in her system, she was charged and pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide. Neither prosecutors nor the defendant knew that a faulty ignition switch might be the real culprit.
GM says that it has identified 13 deaths that resulted from ignition-related accidents. However, two other studies put the number of deaths much higher. A recent investigation by the news agency Reuters says the number of GM ignition-related deaths may be 74. Another study, by the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, put the number at more than 300.
In a March letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Center for Auto Safety said it had identified “303 deaths of front seat occupants in the recalled 2005-07 [Chevrolet] Cobalts and 2003-07 [Saturn] Ions where the airbag failed to deploy in non-rear impact crashes.”
The study drew upon the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Report System (FARS), which collects traffic data from law enforcement agencies across the country. The FARS data does not connect fatalities specifically to ignition switch problems; however, one cause of an air bag’s failure to deploy is a shut down or malfunction of the vehicle’s electrical system.
In a Congressional subcommittee hearing, a Colorado representative said GM’s own documents reveal that a 57¢ part would have fixed the ignition switch problem.
Failure to Disclose
The fury some people are feeling toward GM is based not only on defective parts or the failure to fix them, but on the company’s failure to inform the public about the problems. When federal regulators over the years turned to GM for information about fatal accidents under investigation, it consistently responded that it did not know the cause. It is now known that GM has known about ignition switch problems in its vehicles for up to 11 years.
GM CEO Marry Barra admitted earlier this year to the Congressional subcommittee that her company is guilty of “a pattern of incompetence and neglect.”
Recalled GM Cars with Ignition and/or Airbag Problems
GM has recalled the following cars during 2014 due to problems with ignition switches, ignition keys and/or airbags:
- Lacrosse: 2005-2009
- Lucerne: 2006-2011
- Regal LS & GS: 2004-2005
- Deville: 2000-2005
- CTS: 2003-2014
- DTS: 2004-2011
- Escalade: 2015
- SRX: 2004-2006
- Camaro: 2010-2014
- Cobalt: 2005-2010
- Corvette: 2014
- HHR: 2006-2011
- Impala: 2000-2014
- Malibu: 1997-2005
- Monte Carlo: 2000-2008
- G2X: 2008-2009
- Alero: 1999-2004
- Intrigue: 1998-2002
- GT: 2007
- G5: 2007-2010
- Grand Am: 1999-2005
- Grand Prix: 2004-2008
- Pursuit: 2005-2006
- Solstice: 2006-2010
- Ion: 2003-2007
- Sky: 2007-2010
Our Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one has been a driver or passenger in one of the GM vehicles listed below and experienced an accident resulting in death or serious injury and the cause may have been an automotive malfunction, contact our office for a free consultation. You should know your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages.
Contact us by telephone (866-416-4737), email (email@example.com) or use our website.