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GM Knew Ignition Switch Was Defective Four Years before Anyone Died

Monday, March 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

When a tire has a hole in it, an immediate fix is necessary. If the tire is allowed to go flat, it can cause a loss of control, resulting in severe personal injuries and serious damage to your vehicle.

Car owners face safety issues like this every day. When they know about a safety issue, they fix it. Why should it be any different for a giant company like GM? When it knows about a safety issue with its cars, it should fix the problem. Part of that fix is immediately informing customers. Unfortunately, that did not happen in the case of GM's ignition switch recall.

GM’s faulty ignition switch was injuring and killing drivers and went without a fix, announcement, or recall for a long time. The fatal defect would cause the car’s switch to turn from "on" to “accessory” during operation. This would disable vital control systems, such as power steering and power brakes. Worse yet, in the case of an accident, the airbags would not deploy, leaving the driver and front seat passenger defenseless.

The first death that was attributed to this faulty ignition switch happened in 2005, when Anne Marie Rose, age 16, died when the ignition switch in her 2005 Chevy Cobalt failed. Amber’s airbags did not deploy when she hit a tree. More than 100 deaths have been attributed to the defective switches.

GM eventually acknowledged problems with the ignition switch in Saturn Ions as early as 2001. Found in testing, the problem was supposedly fixed, but more than 70 complaints were subsequently filed by Ion owners. As one complainant stated: "The car just basically shuts off as if the key was being turned. I am in fear of my safety as well as the safety of other drivers."

It's unbelievable that GM's safety experts could have missed all the red flags regarding this ignition switch for so long. Its failure has harmed many people and will continue to cost the company dearly.

Alexander Law Group, LLP is a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury and product liability law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco. We are passionate about our clients and our community, and we believe corporate entities that endanger Americans should be held responsible for their wrongdoing. If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a crash, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. All calls are free and confidential.

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