6 deaths from faulty ignition switches in GM cars

A current General Motors recall may possibly affect some individuals in Ohio. The automaker has been prompted to call back for its Chevrolet Cobalts that were distributed between 2005 and 2007 as well as its 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles for repairs. Six deaths have been attributed to a fault in the ignition switches of these models that can cause the automobiles to shut themselves off while the vehicle is being driven.

The age of the these autos is expected to make it difficult for the company to complete repairs on all the affected vehicles. It is likely that many of the cars are now owned by individuals other than the original purchaser, and it has been shown that second or third owners do not always register with the automaker. This makes it more difficult to locate the newer owners with information about a recall.

Twenty-two crashes with six fatalities have been tied to a design flaw in the ignition switches of these vehicles. If an affected vehicle is jarred, the switch can potentially shut off the motor and disable any power assist for brakes or steering. In addition to the jarring problem, a key ring that is heavily loaded can cause the faulty mechanism to move from the running position to either the accessory or off position.

When a manufacturing defect contributes to a car accident, the individuals who have been hurt may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit to help cover the cost of medical care, loss of wages and other damages. A lawyer working with the injured victim may be able to help them build a case that attempts to attribute fault to the car's manufacturer.

Source: USA Today, "6 killed in GM cars with faulty ignition switches", James R. Healey, February 14, 2014

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