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GM Ignition Switch Failures

Mass Torts Attorneys Helps Victims of Faulty GM Ignition Switches

The cause of the GM ignition switch recall

In early 2014, General Motors issued a recall for about 800,000 small cars because a defect in its ignition switch allowed for an unintended rotation that caused the engine to turn off. In many instances, vehicles were in motion without power steering or power brakes, and in the ensuing collision, the air bags failed to deploy. The defect ultimately forced GM to recall about 29 million cars. The ignition defect was linked to 124 deaths. Because evidence showed that GM had known about the ignition defect for at least a decade prior to the recalls, the company faced criminal prosecution as well as civil liability. In 2015, the company entered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which included $900 million paid to the government and $600 million set aside for victims of accidents.

To see if your vehicle was recalled during 2014, check this comprehensive list.

Aggressive personal injury and wrongful death representation nationwide

If you or a loved one owned a General Motors car which lost power due to a faulty ignition switch, and you were hurt in a front-end collision where the air bag failed to deploy, you may be eligible for compensation. GM has acknowledged the ignition switch defect and has admitted liability for numerous accidents caused when the engine suddenly shut off and air bags failed to deploy on impact. Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban is participating in litigation nationwide arising from accidents related to defective GM ignition switches. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a crash in the last four years, we are prepared to fight for the full compensation you deserve.


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The cause of the GM ignition switch recall

In early 2014, General Motors issued a recall for about 800,000 small cars because a defect in its ignition switch allowed for an unintended rotation that caused the engine to turn off. In many instances, vehicles were in motion without power steering or power brakes, and in the ensuing collision, the air bags failed to deploy. The defect ultimately forced GM to recall about 29 million cars. The ignition defect was linked to 124 deaths. Because evidence showed that GM had known about the ignition defect for at least a decade prior to the recalls, the company faced criminal prosecution as well as civil liability. In 2015, the company entered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which included $900 million paid to the government and $600 million set aside for victims of accidents.

To see if your vehicle was recalled during 2014, check this comprehensive list.

Timeline for GM ignition failure and litigation

The story behind GM’s failed ignition system is not just faulty engineering. It is a huge scandal demonstrating organizational failure up to the highest levels of one of the world’s largest corporations. In brief, here is the sequence of events:

  • February 14, 2014 — GM recalls 780,000 compact cars due to a faulty ignition switch.
  • February 26, 2014 — The company expands its recall of compacts to 1.37 million vehicles built between 2003 and 2007. At this point, 13 people are alleged to have died in accidents due to faulty switches.
  • March 28, 2014 —GM expands the recall to cover 2.6 million vehicles.
  • May 16, 2014 — After a federal investigation determines GM had knowledge of the defect for 10 years before issuing the recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fines the company $35 million, the maximum fine allowed for a single violation. This money goes to the U.S .Treasury, not to compensate victims.
  • June 5, 2014 — Attorney Anton R. Valukas, charged with conducting an internal investigation, releases a report asserting that GM's failure to fix the defective switches sooner was not part of a cover-up, but was due to "their failure to understand, quite simply, how the car was built." GM’s CEO Mary Barra announces the dismissal of 15 employees and the discipline of five more. Barra also announces a company program to compensate victims under the supervision of attorney Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert.
  • June 16, 2014 — GM recalls another 3.36 million vehicles worldwide after a different ignition switch issue is linked to eight crashes and six injuries. The number of cars GM has recalled in 2014 now tops 20 million.
  • December 10, 2015 — Attorney Kenneth Feinberg issues a final report on GM's faulty ignition, indicating the defective switch caused 124 deaths.

Litigation against GM for personal injuries and wrongful death continues. Even though GM has admitted the existence of a defect, the company is not surrendering to any claim that the defect caused an accident. You must still prove ignition switch failure caused your crash. The most certain proof is the failure of your air bags to deploy on impact.  If you or a loved one has been harmed, our mass torts attorneys are prepared to fight for the full compensation you deserve.

Trust our mass tort lawyers to manage your GM ignition switch litigation

If, in the last four years, you lost power in a GM car, suffered a front-end impact where the air bags failed to deploy, and sustained a serious injury, please call our attorneys for a free consultation and case evaluation. The injury attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban have more than 200 years of combined legal experience. We know what it takes to win, especially against a powerful defendant. Call us today at (877) 428-1122 or contact us online.
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