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6 Deaths Attributed to Delayed GM Recall

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Sarah Kim4 years ago

General Motors (GM) recently announced that it has recalled 619,122 Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2005-2007) and Pontiac G5 (2007) compact cars.

The NHTSA determined that the weight of a key ring, road conditions, or some other “jarring event” may cause the ignition switch to move out of the “run” position, turning off the engine.

As a result, airbags may not deploy, power steering and brakes may fail, and anti-lock on the brakes may not function.  

Brooke Melton v. General Motors Lawsuit

According to USA Today, Pediatric Nurse Brook Melton died in 2010 on her 29th birthday in a Chevrolet Cobalt she bought in 2005.

Her estate's attorney stated that on the day of the fatal accident, Melton had taken her car into the dealer for ignition switch problems. She bought her 2005 Cobalt new in August of 2005.

GM settled the lawsuit by her estate; however, GM said it would not comment because a dealer lawsuit is in progress. The terms are also confidential.

About the GM Recall Recall

The electrical ignition switch’s problems were first noticed by at least one GM Engineer while the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was being tested.

In 2005, General Motors created a snap-on key cover. Gary Altman, a program engineering manager, stated in a deposition that the snap-on cover was an “improvement” rather than a “fix.”

A mandatory recall did not occur until last Thursday, ten years after the issue was first discovered, on February 13, 2014.

Currently, there have been 6 reported deaths caused by the ignition issue. In each case, the air bags failed to deploy.

Auto Accident Statistics

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes and fatalities increased in 2012 after six consecutive years of declining fatalities on our nation’s highways.

The nation lost 33,561 people in crashes on roadways during 2012, and 32,479 in 2011. This is a 3.3% increase.

In 2005, there were 43,510 fatalities caused by vehicle traffic crashes.


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