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GM Lags on Defective Ignition Switches

Monday, October 29, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

General Motors’ (GM) historic recall of 2.6 million compact vehicles for ignition switch defects began back in 2014. The defective switches resulted in 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries. As of June, 2018, 92 percent of the affected vehicles worldwide were repaired to rectify a faulty switch that automatically shuts off the engine and stops airbags from deploying in the event of a collision. Repair rates were 96 percent in the United States. GM’s goal is to repair 100 percent of cars affected by the faulty ignition switch. Admittedly, this is no simple feat given the size of the recall and the task of locating the affected cars which have been likely been sold to different owners a number of times.

Already GM has fared better in its repair rate than most other manufacturers who have handled large scale and well publicized auto recalls. The completion rate in most large recall cases is close to 75 percent. In the Takata airbag recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the recall rate is less than fifty percent. GM admits that it is still trying to track down approximately 170,000 cars with faulty ignition switches which have not been repaired. GM is now engaged in the cumbersome task of locating these cars by checking VINs and searching its records.

Since its ignition switch recall, GM has implemented various measures to lower the risk of recurrent recalls and improve the safety of GM products. This includes a new program that fosters honest and candid reporting of potential safety problems by GM employees. The goal of these initiatives is to catch safety issues before they lead to recalls.

GM does not report its recall rate to the federal government any longer. However, a prosecution agreement still requires an independent monitor to oversee GM’s progress until September. Criminal charges were dropped against GM after the automaker agreed to pay $900 million and appoint an independent oversight body. Court documents reveal that GM was aware as early as 2005 that the ignition switches could move unexpectedly to the “off” position while the car is in motion. Employees admitted by 2012 that the ignition switch defect posed a significant safety risk to drivers.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.

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