After purchasing a new Chevrolet Cobalt, Jessica Justice immediately started having problems with the car. She noticed that the car would randomly stall while driving it. Sometimes she noticed the stalling right away, and other times, it would take her a few seconds to realize it had stalled. But she would notice when she was unable to accelerate, and she quickly learned that she could not brake or steer the vehicle when it stalled.
It is clear that Jessica’s Cobalt had a defective ignition switch, a problem that many Cobalt owners faced.
An ignition switch generally has four positions. It starts the vehicle’s engine, keeps the car on, turns the car off, and allows for only the accessories—such as the radio and power windows—to function. When the switch is in the “off” or “accessory” position, it turns off the engine and, thus, the power steering and power braking capabilities. Without these functions, the vehicle becomes very difficult to control. Also, if the vehicle’s ignition switch is not in the “on” position, the airbags become disabled and will not deploy if the vehicle is in a crash.
When Jessica learned her car was stalling, she took it to her dealership. The dealership initially said that it was probably because she had too many keys on her key ring and that the weight of those extra keys was causing the ignition switch to malfunction. So Jessica took the extra keys off her key ring to fix the problem. However, despite the correction recommended by the dealership, the car continued to stall.
Once again, she took the car back to the dealership to get the problem fixed. When she returned, the dealership blamed the problem on Jessica, claiming that because she was short, she must be hitting the steering column with her knees and legs and causing the ignition switch to fail. At that point, after no help from the dealership to correct the problem, she decided that it was no longer safe to drive the vehicle.
Jessica asked the dealership to buy the Chevy Cobalt back from her. Initially, the dealer refused to do this. After three months of learning about the safety issues, attempting to get the dealership to fix the problem, and fighting with the dealership, the family prevailed. The dealership finally agreed to buy the car back. As Jessica’s mom stated, “it started out as a fight with the local dealers and ended with a battle with GM and we won.”
Defective products can be deadly. If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury due to a defective vehicle, please contact 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.