Defects are like computer viruses. The faster they are caught, the less damage they will do, and the less they will spread. Defective products cause damage not only to the people using them but also to the manufacturer, whose reputation is impacted. As the defect becomes known in other car models and becomes more and more common, the manufacturer loses credibility with the public and consumer goodwill. So when a defect is discovered, why would it not be fixed as soon as possible?
One of the most-talked-about car defects recently is GM’s ignition switch. The faulty ignition switch can turn to the “off” or “accessory” position during operation. This causes the power steering and brakes to stop working. It also prevents the airbags from deploying.
GM has faced a lot of investigations and lawsuits because of this fatal defect. One facility under scrutiny was Delphi, the supplier of the ignition switches. Delphi executives told investigators that it had informed GM that the switches did not meet specs but that GM accepted them anyway. This raises the question: why would GM and regulators not address this problem earlier, avoiding deaths, injuries, and property damage altogether?
A spokesman for GM, Greg Martin, said that GM is fully cooperating with investigators about why GM executives and employees made the decisions they did. However, no comment was made about whether GM knew of the defect in advance. The NHTSA is also under scrutiny because it did not force GM to take action despite knowing of the problem since 2005. The exact details are still not known as to why Delphi would provide the defective part or why GM would accept it and incorporate it into its cars.
If you were the victim of a car crash where the car’s manufacturer may have been at fault, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. We believe in holding manufacturers and sellers accountable when others are needlessly hurt as a result of their negligence.