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1.37 million GM vehicles recalled in Canada, U.S. for bad switch

On behalf of Rooz Law posted in Product Liability on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

General Motors vehicle owners in Ontario may be among those being notified under a recall announcement if they have one of the following models in their garage: a 2006-07 model year Chevrolet HHR, a 2006-07 Saturn Sky, a 2007 Pontiac Solstice or a 2003-07 Saturn Ion. GM has been under fire lately from product liability and safety advocates because it admitted it had known as far back as 2004 that an ignition switch malfunction in certain vehicles could slip from “run” to “accessory” mode while the car was in motion, exposing drivers and passengers to serious injury or death in an accident.

The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration linked the switch problem to 31 crashes and 13 deaths involving drivers and front-seat passengers. The malfunction was believed to be especially deadly because the ignition switch moving into a mode other than “run” while the vehicle is in operation would shut off the engine as well as the cars’ electrical system. Without an operational electrical system, cars’ front airbags will not deploy in an accident. It would also be more likely for motorists to get into a crash when the engine shut off in traffic since the auto would stop, and other drivers might run into it at full speed.

The four models above were added to an earlier announcement from the automaker that covered 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s manufactured and sold for the 2005-07 model years. With the additions, the total of vehicles being recalled was last counted at 1.37 million, with 235,855 of those reportedly in Canada.

An automobile with faulty parts is not the only dangerous product threatening lives in Canada. Everything from dangerous children’s toys to defective industrial equipment might expose their manufacturers to product liability lawsuits from injured parties. A personal injury lawyer may be able to evaluate the case of someone seriously injured by such a device to look for a pattern of negligent manufacturing on the part of the manufacturer. If one exists, the lawyer may recommend a personal injury claim or class action.

Source: CBC News, “GM adds 4 models to ignition switch recall”, February 26, 2014