Automaker GM has been in the news a lot lately because of defective ignition switches. Near the end of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall on “faulty ignition switches” in over 2 million GM vehicles. Since then, GM has been wrestling with lawsuits filed all over the country.
The ignition switch problem affected many cars, including the Chevy Cobalt and HHR, the Pontiac G5 and Solstice, and the Saturn ION and Sky. People were injured and killed as a result of these ignition switches which, according to Reuters, can “slip out of place, causing engines to stall and cutting power to the brake, steering and air bag systems.”
Because of the huge number of lawsuits, the federal courts are using special procedures for these cases. Six lawsuits were selected as test cases to go to trial. The idea is that as these cases resolve, everyone will get a better idea of how much other, similar cases are worth.
So far, GM seems to be coming out on top in the test cases:
- The first test case was dismissed after the person who brought the lawsuit allegedly lied under oath.
- In the second case, which involved an accident on the Crescent City Connection, the jury found that the switch malfunction did not cause the wreck.
- The third case was settled for an undisclosed amount. It involved the death of a Pennsylvania father of five.
- The person who brought the lawsuit withdrew the fourth case.
The next test case is set to go to trial in September. It involves a Virginia driver who was badly injured when she crashed her 2006 Chevy Cobalt LS.
USA Today reported that deaths due to the faulty switches were up to 124.
If you or a family member was in an accident caused by a defective car or car part, you may be entitled to money damages. For a free case evaluation, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Wright Pichon & Gray.