Imagine you’re driving down the road when suddenly your car turns off. Power steering is gone, and even your brakes aren’t working right. Eventually, you roll to the side of the road and do some investigating to find that your key is now in the “off” position. Maybe you would just assume it was nudged out of place on the way, but if you’re in a GM car, it could be that your ignition switch is defective.
Even though this imaginary scenario didn’t feature a serious injury, the GM ignition switch defect is dangerous and very deadly. The switch can turn to the “off” or “accessory” position while driving, and that can disable power steering, power brakes, and lifesaving airbags. This part, if unrepaired, can lead to an increased risk of crashing, as well as an increased risk that injuries will be severe or even fatal.
If you have been lucky enough to not have an accident, but own or ride in one of these GM cars, there are a few things you should do immediately to minimize your risk of being in a horrible accident.
First, GM recommends that drivers take everything off of keyrings, as any extra weight hanging can cause the switch to malfunction more easily. Second, before getting out of the car, make sure that it is in “park,” or if it’s a manual transmission, make sure that it is in “reverse” and the parking brake is set. Last, get the ignition switch repaired as soon as possible. The sooner it’s repaired, the sooner you won’t have to worry about the ignition switch failing. And if your car has already exhibited symptoms of this fatal defect, such as stalling while driving, stop driving the car right away.
Visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s website, which describes each model and year of cars that are affected by this potentially fatal switch.
Unfortunately, GM’s ignition switch defect has already cost many lives, and it has seriously injured even more. If you or a family member was involved in an accident because of GM’s faulty ignition switches, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. We believe in holding companies responsible when they irresponsibly endanger others, and your consultation is free and confidential.