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You’ve probably received recall notices in the mail before. Or maybe you have taken your car in for service only to learn that there was an outstanding recall that needed to be taken care of. But what if they were GM ignition recalls that relates to 12 deaths over the last 10 years?
In February 2014, General Motors issued a recall to almost 1.4 million cars including Saturns, Cobalts, and Pontiac G5s. The recall related to a faulty ignition switch containing a tiny metal plunger which when bumped cut off engine power and deactivated the airbags, power steering, and brakes.
The problem was not new to GM. GM first learned of the problem in 2004 when it received reports of engines shutting down in its upcoming 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. In fact, its supplier, Delphi, had quietly removed the faulty plunger in 2006 or 2007.
The company notified its dealers as early as December 2005, but did not issue a recall. When the change finally came to light in 2014, the delay sparked an investigation on whether GM intentionally concealed the defect. All together GM tracked 31 crashes and 12 deaths related to the ignition before issuing a recall.
The recalls went out almost 9 months ago. But almost half of the affected vehicles have yet to be repaired. A spokesperson from GM said it is reaching out to drivers with a call center and social media. But drivers are still being put on hold to actually receive the repair. Wait-lists for repairs have left drivers waiting for months while dealers scramble for replacement parts.
Meanwhile accidents continue to happen. On October 9, a 25 year old driver was killed in a single car accident that police say may have been caused by the faulty ignition. The victim’s mother reported that she had attempted to repair the vehicle twice and had been turned away. And the vehicle had actually shut off once before in the middle of a Bronx parkway.
Recalls on used vehicles always take time, as the dealers try to contact secondary drivers. GM attributes the delays to owners choosing not to act. But in this case the delays have been aggravated by missing parts, and by dealerships who report a vehicle has been repaired when it has not. And some drivers are reporting that the problem has continued even after the repair was supposedly made.
It is important for drivers to be proactive and persistent in having recalls repaired. As tedious as arranging these repairs may be, the alternative, as was the case in the GM ignition recalls, can be fatal. If you know someone who was seriously injured because of an auto accident following a recall, contact the no-fault experts at Christensen Law today for a free consultation.