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Two Wisc. Teens Died in Cobalt Crash due to GM's Faulty Ignition Switch

Monday, February 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

On October 24, 2006, three teens went out to a Wisconsin Walmart in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. On the way home, they were involved in a horrible crash as a result of a defective GM ignition switch. The Cobalt shut itself off, rendering safety mechanisms, such as protective airbags, completely ineffectual.

As USA Today reported, a federal investigation team revealed many disturbing facts about the one-car crash:

At 7:55 p.m., the car had veered off the road at 71 mph, vaulted a driveway and flew 59 feet before clipping a utility box on the ground and slamming into a grove of trees at about 55 mph. . . . [A]ccording to the car’s data recorder, the ignition switch was in the “accessory” position instead of “run,” and the front airbags didn’t deploy.

The front airbag failure meant that driver and front-seat passenger had no protection from impact.

Driver Megan Phillips was badly injured, suffering from a broken right arm and damaged liver and spleen. Her friends, 18-year-old Natasha Weigel and 15-year-old Amy Rademaker, were not so lucky. Natasha died within hours; Amy and her family suffered while she was on life support, unconscious for two weeks, with “38 separate injuries, including skull and rib fractures, a bleeding brain[,] and a swollen face.” She ultimately passed away, and her wake was held on her birthday.

The course of these three young lives changed forever, all due to a defective ignition switch installed in millions of GM family cars, including the Chevy Cobalt Megan was driving that fateful night.

Only GM was privy to the number of complaints it had of its cars stalling while being driven. Only it knew of all of the frontal accidents that had occurred with engine power off. Yet despite this fatal crash and others like it, GM did not initiate a recall of the switch until eight years later—in 2014.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash involving a faulty GM ignition switch, a new court ruling may allow you to bring a lawsuit even if the crash was many years ago. To learn more, contact the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP right away at 888.777.1776. We stand behind our clients and are not afraid to fight Goliath. Call today, though, as delay may harm your case.

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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