General Motors Ignition Switch
Attorneys Helping Victims of Defective Automobile Parts Nationwide
In 2014, General Motors issued recalls for millions of vehicles, including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, due to a faulty ignition switch. The flaw in the ignition switch was that if there are multiple keys on the key ring, the ignition switch, which is supposed to hold the key in place, may shut off. The car's engine and electrical system can suddenly lose power, and the air bags may be unexpectedly disabled. Our GM ignition switch lawyers know that GM has set up a compensation plan to compensate families of those who died because of the ignition switch defect, as well as those who were injured. Families accepting the funds waive their right to sue. If you were injured or a loved one was killed due to a General Motors ignition switch or another automobile defect, the product liability lawyers at Moll Law Group are available to help you recover monetary compensation. Billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we were involved.
Before 2014, engineers had proposed that the head of the key be redesigned to remove the likelihood that it would be jostled, but GM decided the fix was too costly. Lawmakers have suggested that the defective switch could have been fixed for as little as 57 cents per car. The Department of Transportation has announced that GM has been fined $35 million due to its defective ignition switch and its decision not to inform regulators and the public during the decade for which it was aware of the defect.
Pursuing Compensation for Faulty General Motors Ignition Switches
Claims have been made that the company sold cars to the public knowing they were defective, and GM may have committed fraud and concealed evidence related to the defective ignition switch. The compensation fund reviewed close to 4,400 defect claims over a year, and the final tally for those claims was 124 deaths. The fund made almost 400 offers. At least $1 million was offered in each death claim. The fund, however, approved less than 10% of the claims, and no punitive damages were assessed.
Most defective automobile part cases use a strict liability theory of either a manufacturing or a design defect. The strongest theory that a GM ignition switch lawyer may argue in this type of case may be that the ignition switches were defectively designed. People who did not accept an offer from the compensation fund but instead pursued litigation would have to prove a design defect by using one of two possible tests. The first test is the consumer expectation test. With this test, a plaintiff must prove that the design did not meet consumers' safety expectations. The other is the risk-utility test, in which a plaintiff needs to prove that the safety benefits of eliminating a foreseeable risk exceed the resulting costs. When plaintiffs assert both tests, they are supposed to be treated as alternatives.
Product misuse is one defense to strict product liability lawsuits. In some cases, misuse or modification is used to determine a plaintiff's comparative fault, if any.
Discuss Your Injuries with an Experienced GM Ignition Switch Attorney
Plaintiffs who are able to prove fraud or intentional concealment in a GM ignition switch lawsuit may be eligible to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. If you were injured or a loved one was killed due to a defective General Motors ignition switch, our product liability attorneys are available to bring a claim to recover monetary compensation. Moll Law Group represents consumers around the nation, including in states such as California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Call us at 312-462-1700 or use our online form to arrange a free consultation with a GM ignition switch attorney.