In 2014, General Motors made the shocking announcement that it would be recalling more than 800,000 small vehicles due to an apparent safety threat. According to the company, faulty ignition switches could, under certain circumstances, cause the car to shut off during operation.
This is a serious issue for motorists, because when the key is switched off, the airbags could fail to deploy. Motorists who lose power on a busy road could be struck by other vehicles, and without their airbags, the risk for injury is significant.
Media reports state that GM employees were aware of issues with their vehicles’ ignition switches for a long period of time prior to the massive recall early last year. Company executives state that they had no knowledge of the safety issue until shortly before they announced the recall.
Alleged victims of ignition switch failure have filed numerous personal injury lawsuits against the company. Earlier this month, a Corpus Christi-based lawyer announced that he would be conducting depositions of 35 past and current GM executives in an effort to learn more about the timeline of events that led up to the recall.
Those employees who are schedule to be deposed include CEO Mary Barra and several former GM attorneys who were fired in the wake of the recall. Ultimately, the depositions should help determine when the executives became aware of the safety issue and whether there was a “coverup,” as some victims and their attorneys have alleged.
Already, GM has begun to settle cases related to ignition switch failure. The company has offered settlements to the families of 67 people who were fatally injured due to ignition switch failure, and they say they are reviewing 1,400 more applications.
Personal injury cases like this are important because they force manufacturers to stand by the product they design. Large and wealthy corporations often fight hard against accusations of negligence, going to great lengths to deny responsibility or limit their culpability. Only through the dedicated efforts of victims and their families can manufacturers be held responsible for their actions.
Greening Law, P.C., is a dedicated supporter of Texas injury victims. If you or a loved one was harmed by a dangerous or defective product, our lead attorney, Robert Greening, is ready to put more than 24 years of legal experience to work on your behalf. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call 972-934-8900.