Defective General Motors Ignition Switches Kill 12; Young Drivers Most Likely Victims

GM’s faulty ignition switches killed at least 12 drivers; seven were 25 years old or younger, Business Week reported Friday. General Motors announced the recall of 1.6 million compact cars month. “The defective switches… can move from the ‘run’ position to ‘accessory’ or ‘off,’ shutting down the engine without warning. That can knock out power-assisted steering and brakes and cause drivers to lose control. It also can disable the air bags,” The Washington Post explained.

The worldwide car manufacturer recalled Saturn Ions, Chevy Cobalts, Pontiac G5s, and other compact models. Perhaps the most disturbing revelation, Business Week, continues is that many of the cars are typically favored by young and/or new drivers.

“The now-recalled vehicles were predominantly entry-level cars marketed to first-time drivers. These same drivers, according to safety and auto experts, may have been among the least prepared to react to a sudden loss of power,” Business Week says.

The death toll does not account for hundreds of drivers who lost their lives when GM airbags failed to deploy.

Publication Automotive News, moreover, is questioning whether fatalities may have occurred after the defective ignition switches were allegedly fixed.

Automotive News found that seven of eight deaths in Cobalts occurred after April 2006, when GM approved a redesign of the ignition switch. Meanwhile, the paper says that one of four deaths in Ions also took place after the part was redesigned,” Forbes writes.

General Motors said that it is taking necessary precautions and complying with all safety laws and regulations. Parents of teens who died in Cobalt and Saturn Ion crashes are in the process of filing lawsuits against GM.

“GM dealers will replace the ignition switches for free. The company will contact owners when the switches are available, likely in April. After that, owners can make service appointments to have their switches replaced,” General Motors advises owners of Cobalts and Saturn Ions.

“It would be nice to obtain all of the internal documents from General Motors concerning the ignition switch failure, malfunction or defect,” explains James Dailey, Personal Injury Attorney at James J. Dailey, P.C. “These issues are commonly tested in the transportation industry, whether it be by water, air or land.“

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