Tragic Fatal Accident Involving Expectant Mother Allegedly Caused by Faulty Ignition Switch
Keisha Vest, 26, was driving to work in her Chevrolet Cobalt that was purchased two weeks earlier when tragedy struck. The young mother, who was pregnant and looking forward to having another child, was involved in a fatal collision that claimed her life and that of her unborn child. According to the lawsuit filed in the case, the brakes of Vest’s vehicle failed, causing her to lose control of her vehicle at a stop sign. When the brakes failed, she lost control of the vehicle as it lurched into the intersection where her vehicle was struck by a semi-truck.
Despite the horrific sounding nature of this tractor-trailer collision, the lawsuit filed by Keisha’s husband alleges that she would have survived the crash if her airbag had deployed. The lawsuit indicates that the young mom suffered a closed head injury and chest injury. Her vehicle was one of the GM vehicles covered by the faulty ignition switch recalls that have plagued the automaker throughout the year. According to the lawsuit, the ignition switch defect prevented the airbag from deploying during the crash.
Although airbags provide a valuable supplemental safety measure when combined with seat belts, defects that adversely impact air bag deployment can leave vehicle occupants unprotected or even cause injuries. There are many types of airbag defects that can cause injuries including:
- Defective sensors that disrupt the timing of deployment or that fail to trigger deployment
- Unsafe counterfeit airbags that explode and propel shrapnel
- Overly aggressive airbags that deploy with too much force
- Airbags that prematurely deploy so the force of expansion causes broken bones, traumatic brain injury or blindness
- Airbags that fail to inflate in time and provide no protection from injury
GM has recalled over 1.6 million vehicles because of the defective ignition switch problem. The vehicle manufacturer has acknowledged that a heavy key ring or jolt to the vehicle can cause the ignition to rotate out of position. When the ignition shifts out of the run position, the vehicle loses power which prevents the airbags from inflating. Approximately 13 deaths have been linked to the ignition switch defect. Additionally, a recent review of federal crash data that was commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety uncovered 303 fatalities in crashes involving GM vehicles in which airbags failed to deploy.
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