GM’s recall woes are increasing, as the auto giant recently expanded their recalled list to include 1.5 million more vehicles. Some of the defects found in the vehicles have led to fatal crashes, and accident victims and their families have begun turning to GM recall lawyers to determine if legal action against the company is appropriate. As GM executives scramble to manage the recall fury, litigation may be just beginning.
New York City & Long Island residents injured in a crash involving a recalled GM vehicle may seek assistance from Edelman, Krasin and Jaye to determine their legal options. Accident victims or family members of victims involved in fatal crashes may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of spousal support, and more. The personal injury lawyers at EKJ Law are ready to answer questions, evaluate individual cases and provide expert legal representation for accident victims.
GM recalls involve variety of defects
Earlier in 2014, GM recalled 1.6 million vehicles after it was discovered the ignition could suddenly turn off if the key in the ignition is bumped. According to GM, the faulty ignition has been linked to a dozen crash fatalities. However, the Center for Auto Safety, an independent consumer watchdog group, says the number of fatalities could be over 300. GM disputes that number, stating fatalities in those accidents could be attributed to factors other than the ignition defect.
Shortly after this recall took effect, GM announced a second recall affecting 1.5 million additional vehicles. Reasons cited for this recall included an increased risk of engine fire and air bag issues. Some of the vehicles also failed to meet crash standards.
“Something went wrong with our process in this instance and terrible things happened,” CEO for GM Mary Barra stated in a videotaped message to employees posted on the company website. Barra also called her taped apology to the accident victims and their families “just one step in the journey to resolve this.”
Barra also listed some of the steps GM was taking to rectify the situation, including the creation of a new position, vice president of global vehicle safety. Barra named long-time GM employee Jeff Boyer to the post.
Good intentions not enough?
Although Barra appears to be following the playbook to fix the monumental issues facing the company, they may not be enough to ward off major legal headaches for the auto manufacturer. The New York Times reports that a settlement has already been reached with the family of the first accident victim involving the faulty ignition. Amber DiBattista died at the age of 16 after her airbags failed to deploy in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt during a head-on crash with a tree. The family will not reveal the amount or details of the settlement.
USA Today also reports that 13 plaintiffs from California and other states have joined together to file a class action GM air bag lawsuit against the car maker. Plaintiffs allege GM knew of the problems associated with the ignition switch as early as 2001, but failed to fix the problem or warn consumers about the risks.
The lawsuit will also introduce the fact that the positioning of the ignition switch made it easy for drivers to bump the switch while the vehicle was running. Simply replacing the switches will not fully remedy the dangerous problem, these plaintiffs and their attorneys are stating.
GM recall lawyers ready for litigation
Personal injury lawsuits involving defective products can be complex, particularly when those products are recalled vehicles. To ensure your rights are well represented, you need a legal team that understands these complexities. The product recall lawyers at Edelman, Krasin and Jaye have a long track record of success representing victims in product liability cases. We work hard to get our clients the maximum compensation they are entitled to.
The team of Edelman, Krasin and Jaye are ready to defend the rights of individuals who have been victims of defective vehicles, including those that were subject to the GM recall. We offer free case evaluations and the highest level of legal representation. Call our New York office at 1-800-469-7429 to schedule your complementary consultation.