Following almost a decade of problems, which led to at least 13 fatal accidents, an internal probe has failed to find any evidence of intentional cover up of the ignition-switch issues that have resulted in massive recall. Although the investigation uncovered no cover up, it did reveal “a pattern of incompetence and neglect”.
GM failed to properly address a defect with the ignition in select vehicles. If jostled or weighed down by keys, a faulty ignition switch could slip out of its proper position and cause the vehicle’s engine to shut down, in which case the airbags would be disabled as well as the driver’s ability to steer and brake. Under these conditions a driver would lose control of the vehicle posing risk of collision and injury not only to the vehicle’s occupants, but also other drivers, pedestrians and various other passersby.
The company announced that it will be creating a compensation fund for victims of the defect, which involved small vehicles including but not limited to the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt. Details surrounding the compensation fund have not been released yet. GM only reports 13 deaths connected to the defective ignition-switch issues, while plaintiffs’ lawyers estimate the number is more like 60.
After an investigation led by Anton Valukas of Jenner & Block, fifteen employees, including legal executives, were fired by the company. The ignition-switch issues were made aware to various parties at GM, but failed to be mentioned to and addressed by the highest levels of the company. Chief executive Mary Barra has urged workers to bring concerns and report problems to their supervisors and in the instance they are not satisfied with the response, to bring those issues to her attention
Hundreds of recalls occur each year and when a defective part of design is released to the public and not caught timely consumers can be injured or die as a result of the defect. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective product, vehicle design or part please call us today! You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.