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Major GM Recall Affects Ignition Switch and Airbags: The Basics

Thursday, February 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

We all need to pay attention to what’s going on with GM. GM has been in the news often lately, and with good reason. Millions of GM vehicles are fitted with defective ignition switches that can lead to fatal results. And this problem is not limited to vehicles that carry the “GM” designation but also affects cars under other labels, such as Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn.

Here’s the problem: GM installed an ignition switch on large numbers of cars that can easily slip from the “on” or “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position. Take a moment to let that sink in.

For many vehicle functions to work properly, the engine must be “on.” This includes driver control functions, such as power steering and braking. It also includes critical safety features that are designed to protect occupants during a crash, such as air bags.

The official federal government website for vehicle recalls, safercar.gov, characterizes this problem as a “serious safety issue that should be addressed immediately.”

Because so many vehicles contain the defective switch, there are not enough parts to make all necessary repairs right away. If you have one of these cars, take the following actions immediately:

  • If you don’t have to drive the car, don’t.
  • If you must drive the car, remove all items from your key ring, including the key fob.
  • Wear your seat belt every time you are in the car, and require your passengers to wear theirs, too.
  • Be careful not to jostle or jar the switch or steering column.
  • Take special care on crowded or bumpy roads.

Unfortunately, all of these preventive instructions can’t help if you or someone you love has already been injured by a vehicle that unexpectedly switched off the power. Many lost their lives or were badly injured before GM issued the recall.

There is some good news, however. A federal appeals court recently held that GM could not hide behind a bankruptcy shield when it came to crashes caused by these defective switches. Importantly, this ruling applies to what would otherwise be “old” cases that would normally be time-barred.

As the GM switch debacle proves, defective products can be deadly. If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury due to a defective vehicle, including one involving a faulty GM ignition switch, please contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP immediately to discuss your rights. Call 888.777.1776 right now, for a free, confidential, and personal consultation with one of our attorneys or contact us online.

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