According to CNN Money, General Motors (GM) believes at least 12 people were killed by an ignition switch defect in more than 1.6 million of its vehicles; however, the company has yet to reveal who those people are, even to the victims’ family members.
GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, revealed this troubling fact during a media interview in Detroit on March 18, which was the first time Barra has taken questions from reporters about the recall. GM has been criticized because it has admitted that some employees were aware of problems with the ignition switch in small cars as early as 2004; however, the millions of cars with the defective switch were not recalled until last month.
The flawed switch led to at least 31 accidents and at least 12 deaths. Barra apologized in the press conference for the delay that occurred and for the fatalities, but would not release the list accidents caused by the switch failure.
Barra also would not answer repeated questions about whether GM will accept legal liability for the accidents that occurred before the 2009 bankruptcy, which shield the current company from civil legal action.
The Center for Auto Safety, a public interest group, has asked GM to waive that liability shield and accept responsibility. The center’s executive director, Clarence Ditlow, told CNN Money that it is very likely that more than half of the families of the 12 victims have no idea the ignition switch played a role in their deaths, even with the news about the recall.
“Our experience with crashes is that the families are in a state of shock and that a lot of people don’t go further than to think it’s a tragedy,” Ditlow stated.
Our firm is experienced in defective auto part litigation. Colson Hicks Eidson injury attorney Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson has been involved in leadership roles in many of the most important product liability cases in the US during the past three decades, including the verdict against Ford Motor Company in the infamous Ford Pinto case.
If a defect in your vehicle caused you serious injury or killed a loved one, contact us today to learn more about how our firm can assist your family.
Colson Hicks Eidson – Injury Attorneys