Articles Posted in Auto Defects

This site has highlighted various aspects of the GM ignition switch defect, including the legal liability faced over the issue. These prior posts can be found can be found in the “Auto Defects” category.

Another aspect concerning the legal liability and lawsuits regarding this defective ignition switch issue is whether GM might face punitive damages in the various lawsuits that have been filed and are expected to be filed.

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The Wall Street Journal article of today (June 9, 2014), titled “Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Take Aim at GM for Recall” discusses and summarizes various facets of the litigation GM faces over of the ignition switch defect in light of the information in the report (funded by GM) released by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas. (previous posts regarding this ignition-switch defect can be seen in the “Auto Defects” category)

A couple of excerpts:

Some legal experts said GM could face an unusually long, steep and costly fight in the wake of the 315-page, company-funded report by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas. “This is a big case, and it could be enormously expensive for GM,” said Elizabeth Burch, a University of Georgia law professor.

Ms. Barra said the report demonstrated a “pattern of incompetence and neglect” in the auto maker’s 11-year failure to recall cars equipped with a defective ignition switch. Mr. Valukas said the company’s “search for root cause became a basis for doing nothing to resolve the problem for years.”

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In previous posts, design flaws in cars have been discussed, as well as recalls involving such defective cars. One particularly noteworthy recall has been that involving GM’s ignition switch defect.

The latest development in the matter was discussed in the May 17-18, 2014 Wall Street Journal article titled “U.S. Says GM Hid Recall Failures.”

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One of the open questions regarding car accidents involving GM’s faulty ignition switches (various posts concerning this issue can be seen in the “auto defects” category) is why the cars’ air bags failed to deploy in the 13 fatal accidents that are believed to have stemmed from the faulty ignition switches.

Newly released information may provide the answer to why the air bags failed to deploy, even in instances in which one would certainly have expected them to.

The May 13, 2014 article titled “GM recall reveals gaps in air bag knowledge” discusses various aspects of this air bag deployment issue.

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Injuries and/or deaths caused by cars that are defective and/or have defective parts have been discussed in various posts within this site. Many high-profile lawsuits regarding these alleged auto defects have recently been filed.

A high-profile wrongful death lawsuit has recently been filed regarding the November 2013 crash involving Paul Walker and Roger Rodas. The lawsuit was filed by Kristine Rodas, the widow of Roger Rodas, against Porsche. The crash that led to the deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas occurred as they were in a Porsche Carrera GT.

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There has been a new development concerning the GM cars that have been recalled due to faulty ignition switches. (previous posts concerning the recall of GM cars with faulty ignition switches can be seen in the March 23 post titled “GM’s Liability In Accidents Involving The Faulty Ignition Switch” as well as the February 28 post titled “Ignition Switch Recall Involving 1.6 Million Cars.”)

As seen in the April 18 Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, titled “GM Defeats Consumer Court Bid to Force Recall Cars to Be Parked” :

General Motors Co. (GM:US) doesn’t have to tell car owners they should park the 2.59 million vehicles it recalled over faulty ignition switches, a federal judge ruled, rejecting a bid for what would’ve been an unprecedented order.

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The subject of GM’s faulty ignition switch was summarized in the February 28 post titled “Ignition Switch Recall Involving 1.6 Million Cars.”

As one would expect, lawsuits are being filed regarding this ignition switch defect. One such lawsuit is discussed in the NBC News article titled “Families in Wisconsin Crash That Killed Two Girls Sue GM” as well as the March 16 USA Today article titled “Lawsuit will test GM immunity for pre-2009 deaths.”

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One cause of car accidents that seems to be receiving increased recognition is that of defective car design. While unintended acceleration has perhaps been the most notable alleged example of defective car design, there are many other car engineering defects that have existed over the years. Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed over many of the fatal accidents involving allegedly defective cars.

The Wall Street Journal published an article on March 20, 2014, titled “Toyota Penalty Sends Signal to GM.” This article discusses various aspects regarding Toyota’s $1.2 Billion settlement.

Three notable excerpts from the article:

The penalty is the largest to date against an auto maker and ends a four-year criminal probe into Toyota’s efforts to conceal and play down safety issues before government regulators and consumers. In 2010, a government regulator found that those safety issues had caused at least five deaths.

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One cause of car accidents is that of defective car design. While unintended acceleration has perhaps been the most notable alleged example of defective car design, there are many other car engineering defects that have existed over the years. Many lawsuits have stemmed from the injuries suffered in car accidents caused by these defective car parts.

Recently, GM has ordered a recall of 1.6 million cars over an ignition switch defect. This defect has been linked to various car accidents, including those that have resulted in 13 deaths.

Two excerpts regarding this ignition switch recall, from the February 27, 2014 Bloomberg article titled “GM Investigated Over Ignition Recall Linked to 13 Deaths” :

In the GM recall, the company said key rings that are too heavy or jarring can cause ignition switches to slip out of the run position, causing the engines to shut off and a crash-sensing algorithm to misfire in a way that deactivates air bags.

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