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General Motors Expands Recall, Death Toll Up to 13

by Shalimar S. Wallis on 02/28/2014

General Motors has expanded a recall to include several more models of vehicles with ignition problems.  The recall is based on a faulty ignition switch which will unexpectedly move from “run” to the “accessory” or “off” positions, causing the engine to shut off and the front air bags to be disabled.  The ignition switch moves to “accessory” if jarred or under the weight of a heavy keychain. 

31 injuries and 13 deaths have been attributed to this defect. 

These General Motors defective vehicle deaths are attributed to the ignition switch moving to the off position during sudden braking in the moments prior to a collision.   When the ignition switch moves to off, the engine shuts down and airbags do not deploy at the moment of impact leaving drivers and passengers without vital safety equipment.  In some cases the ignition switch turned to off because of the initial, sudden impact.

The recall affects 1.6 million vehicles worldwide.  The following vehicles are being recalled:

2003 to 2007 Saturn Ions
2006 to 2007 Chevrolet HHRs
2006 to 2007 Pontiac Solstice
2006 to 2007 Saturn Sky
2005 to 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
2007 Pontiac G5 

In papers filed by General Motors with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is apparent that the automotive manufacturer knew of the ignition issue in 2004 and failed to adequately remedy the defect at the time. 

If you believe that your vehicle is affected by this recall, you may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac at 1-800-762-2737 or Saturn at 1-800-553-6000.  The initial recall number is 13454, and the expansion recall number is 14063.  General Motors has not yet set a notification schedule, per the NHTSA.  Vehicle owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective vehicle, the attorneys at Watts Guerra LLP can help you.  Our attorneys are highly trained to handle automobile accident cases and automotive defect cases.  We are here to help you.

Tags: Automotive Defects, Automobile Accidents

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