General Motors is in hot water once again, just when consumers may have been ready to move passed their shadow of bankruptcy. The American automobile company has recalled 1.6 million vehicles, due to a ignition defect, which causes the engine to stop running, with the vehicle still in motion, according to multiple reports.
What’s worse is that it appears that GM knew about this defect as far as 13 years ago, but failed to report it to any regulatory agency, or to attempt to fix the problem. Now they’re facing an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and Transport Canada, as well as potentially facing a host of lawsuits and even class action suits.
According to the NHTSA, documents filed by GM showed that the company knew that the problem existed in certain models since 2001. There are at least 13 deaths and multiple injuries linked to this ignition defect, however, further investigations and probes may yield more negative data for GM.
General Motors may use the defense that it is now a new, reformed company under the same name, since its recent bankruptcy. While that may be technically true, it doesn’t change the fact that the new GM allowed this defect to languish, despite having prior knowledge.
In addition to GM having to explain itself, some explanation may be needed from the NHTSA as well. The safety agency had been receiving complaints about the issue for multiple years, even from former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. However, the agency claimed that the safety threshold had not been passed, and thus it could not launch an investigation.
As lawsuits are filed, PR statements come out and the probe moves forward, we will know more and more about what GM did and didn’t know, and what they could’ve done to prevent deaths due to defects in their vehicles.
Cohen Placitella & Roth PC has distinguished itself as proven leaders in class action litigation, and has won multi-million dollar recoveries in a variety of these suits. We invite you to contact Chris Placitella, Esq., today for a consultation at 888-375-7600 and discuss your case.