Montlick and Associates Reviews a Congressional Hearing Criticizing GM for Ignoring Cheap Ignition Defect Fix
Atlanta product liability attorney David Montlick found the recent revelation that a defective component in the ignition switch of certain GM® vehicles could have been repaired for less than a dollar per vehicle deeply disturbing. Montlick and Associates expresses its condolences to the families of the 13 people who died in preventable accidents allegedly related to faulty ignition switches.
According to comments by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) at a recent Congressional hearing, lawmakers obtained documents indicating that General Motors® (GM) examined potential remedies for the defect in 2005 but elected not to fix the problem because it would result in an unacceptable cost increase according to Fox News. While the notion that public safety took a backseat to cost is upsetting, the most disturbing aspect of the decision not to repair the defect is that the reported cost to rectify the problem would have been 57 cents per vehicle.
At the hearing, Rep. DeGette held up a small spring located inside the faulty ignition switch, which provided inadequate force to prevent the ignition from shifting out of the “run” position. The Congresswoman claimed that a light set of keys could cause the ignition to shift out of position if the vehicle hit a minor bump in the roadway. When this occurs, the engine on the vehicles could stall. The driver also could lose the benefit of power brakes, power steering and functioning air bags.
“While these revelations may provide a basis for a viable product liability claim against GM® by families of the 13 victims who suffered fatal injuries in the crashes, the GM® bankruptcy poses challenges for those who were injured prior to the bankruptcy,” said Atlanta defective vehicle attorney David Montlick.
Lawmakers and regulators at the hearing reportedly ripped GM® for failing to perform the cheap fix as well as the delay in implementing a recall of the dangerous defect as requested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA). Family members who lost loved ones in accidents linked to the defective ignition switch characterized the GM® cars subject to the defect as a “death trap.”
One of the parents that appeared at the hearing lost her teenage stepdaughter in a 2006 collision that was allegedly caused by the defective ignition issue. The teenager was on a shopping trip when the vehicle stalled and departed the roadway after the power brakes and power steering failed. When the car departed the roadway, the vehicle went airborne and slammed into a phone booth before crashing into a group of trees.
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If you or a loved one is injured or a loved one dies because of a vehicle defect, our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.