Wrongful death cases reopen as G.M. recalls faulty ignitions

Imagine that your loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Alabama, but you just know something isn’t right with the case. That’s what this man has been going through with the wrongful death of his daughter. The man had 30 years of experience with General Motors, and he knew that when the girl’s 2006 Chevy Cobalt went into the path of an oncoming semi-truck that something wasn’t right.

According to the news from March 12, the woman, who was killed on Dec. 4, never drove while on the phone or when doing other reckless things; that’s why this accident just didn’t make sense. She had only received two speeding tickets, one in 2005 and one in 2008, and she had never been arrested. She had no medical problems that would cause her to black out, and she hadn’t been drinking or taking drugs. Initially, driver distraction was the official decision by police, and the case was closed.

But, that all changed when G.M. issued a recall of 1.6 million cars, including the one the woman had been driving. G.M. has reported that the cars have a defective ignition switch. That switch has now been linked to 12 deaths. The crash investigation has been reopened in this woman’s case, and mechanical failure may actually have been the cause. Now, other families are looking into accidents that occurred while driving that make and model of car; they are looking for any sign that the ignition switches could have been a cause of the accidents.

Since the recall, one lawyer in Texas claims that he has had around 30 inquiries about accidents involving recalled vehicles. This stems partially from the fact that the problems were known as far back as 2004, but G.M. didn’t make any fixes for them. Now, G.M. is the center of three investigations from the Justice Department and Congress looking into why the company didn’t act more quickly on the potential dangers associated with the vehicles.

Source: The New York Times, “Huge Recall by G.M. Sets Off Painful Questions on Crashes” Frances Robles, Mar. 12, 2014

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