When no obvious reason can be attributed to a car crash, investigators are likely to chalk it up to driver error. That sometimes makes it harder to demonstrate that another cause was really at work. A lot of the accidents that were actually caused by the GM ignition switch were initially blamed on driver error. Distracted driving is so common now that no one bats an eye when a driver loses control and crashes.
The GM ignition switch defect can cause a lot of problems for drivers that mimic the signs of distracted driving. The defect causes the ignition switch to move to the “accessory” or “off” position during driving. This causes the power brakes to malfunction, which can cause drivers going downhill to speed up. The defect also causes power steering to go out, making the car much harder to control, and the worst part is that airbags won’t deploy if an accident occurs.
Because driver error is such an easy culprit to identify, the ignition switch defect was mostly swept under the driver error rug as crashes occurred. However, GM actually saw trends and knew about the defect before it finally came to light. Despite having direct knowledge of the killer switch, GM didn’t issue a recall. Instead, it only notified mechanics of the problem, and even suggested the problem was due to drivers having heavy key rings or too many keys on their rings.
It was only when more and more victims were getting injured and killed that GM finally started recalling its defective cars. If GM had owned up to the mounting evidence of a serious problem sooner, police and investigators would not have been so inclined to blame the drivers in these serious crashes, not to mention that less crashes, injuries, and deaths would have occurred.
If you or a family member were hurt due to a defective GM switch, contact the lawyers at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. We believe in holding companies responsible. All calls are free and confidential.