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Cal. Mom Died in Ion because of Defective GM Ignition Switch

Friday, February 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

It can be difficult to learn about people who are hurt or killed by defective products. But doing so not only honors those people, it helps us understand and relate to why victims and their families deserve compensation. GM’s defective ignition switch has killed many, including a mom from right here in the Golden State.

Shara Lynn Towne’s brand new 2004 Ion sedan veered off the road in Visalia, California, striking a utility pole. The frontal crash resulted from a defective GM ignition switch that had slipped out of position, killing the engine. As a result of the slippage, Towne would have been unable to steer or brake her car properly before impact. Also, because the engine was off, the airbags did not inflate.

Even though Shara was wearing her seat belt, she died in the crash. The driver control and safety systems designed to protect here were rendered useless because the engine was off.

Shara left behind a husband and five children. Shara’s son described his mother as like a “light switch in any dark room, . . . radiant and beautiful, full of life and laughter.”

Shara’s husband and kids sued GM in 2006, also naming the car dealership and parts suppliers in the lawsuit. GM settled the case quietly the following year.

Shortly thereafter, GM engineers “noted that the car’s airbag sensing and diagnostic module did not record a crash, suggesting some type of power loss.” One of the auto giant’s lawyers, who had represented GM in two parallel lawsuits in Texas, even commented on the similarities between Shara’s crash and an internal airbag test.

Still, GM didn’t recall the airbags until 2014, needlessly subjecting drivers and passengers to danger and killing over 100 people. This type of reprehensible behavior would not be tolerated of any responsible citizen, yet GM skated along for years, denying any knowledge of the dangers its ignition switches posed to innocent citizens.

Many more families have been impacted by GM vehicles due to their faulty ignition switches. You can review the entire list of affected models, which include Chevys, Pontiacs, and Saturns, here. If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident with one of these vehicles due to stalling or the failure of airbags to deploy, don’t delay. Call our office today. A recent court opinion has opened the door for the filing of lawsuits, including many that happened several years ago.

You can rely on the compassionate San Francisco personal injury and products liability attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP to guide you through the difficult time that follows a crash. We are here for our clients and will passionately seek appropriate compensation for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

While the results that we have obtained in other cases and our clients' testimonials do not guarantee, promise or predict the outcome of your case, we do promise to do our very best for you in your case.

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