GM Engineer Lied about GM Ignition Switches
During a Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance hearing held on Wednesday, subcommittee Chairwoman Claire McCaskill called a 2006 ignition switch redesign done by General Motors a cover-up.
GM Engineer Lied Under Oath
“We don’t know how many people crashed because of this cover-up. We do know that many died.” – Chairwoman Claire McCaskill as published by Detroit News
During Wednesday’s hearing, Chairwoman McCaskill referenced documents showing that GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio had signed off on a design change in April 2006; however, in a deposition in a case involving a Chevy Cobalt crash, DeGiorgio claimed that he knew nothing about the 2006 redesign.
In 2006, General Motors redesigned a defective ignition switch but did not change the switches model number. Members of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance speculated that this was done to avoid the switches being publicly linked to a number of fatal accidents.
In a briefing presented before members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Delphi Automotive, the company responsible for manufacturing the switches, revealed that both the original 2002 ignition switch and the redesigned 2006 ignition switch failed to meet GM’s company specifications but were approved nonetheless.
According to USA Today, Chairwoman McCaskill commented that a culture of cover up created by GM allowed DeGiorgio to lie under oath.
Possible Criminal Consequences
“This is criminal deception. I don’t see this as anything but criminal.” – Senator Kelly Ayotte as published by Detroit News
Many of the Senate Sub-Committee members suggested that criminal charges could be filed against anyone who intentionally concealed safety information from NHTSA or the public.
Senator Barbara Boxer expressed suspicion towards suggestions that none of the high-level executives were informed of the potential links between the faulty ignition switches and fatal accidents, especially as the company faced multiple lawsuits making such claims.
In the least, DeGiorgio will likely be reprimanded for lying under oath; however, as of yet, the GM engineer has not been terminated and continues to work in his current position.
So far the defective ignition switches have resulted in at least 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions.
2015 GMC Yukon Catches Fire During Test Drive
Over the weekend, a new 2015 GMC Yukon burst into flames while being taken for a test drive by a potential customer in Anaheim, CA.
Details of the Yukon Fire
According to a report on GM Authority, the blaze started during a test drive of a brand new 2015 GMC Yukon. Occupants of the vehicle say the cabin quickly filled with smoke, and the driver lost partial control of the vehicle before pulling over. The Anaheim Fire Department responded to the accident and extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported.
General Motors has responded to the incident, saying they are “working urgently” and have sent a team of investigators to look into possible causes of the fire. One speculation is an oil leak.
More Bad News for GM
Sunday’s GMC Yukon fire is just one more incident in a string of bad press for the automaker. In February, GM announced a 1.6 million vehicle recall due to defective ignition switches. Conservative estimates suggest at least 13 deaths and over 30 crashes were caused by the faulty ignition switches.
The GM recall has spurred several federal investigations into whether or not the manufacturer delayed reporting the problem. Documents show that GM was aware of the problem as far back as 2001. GM is also facing a multitude of lawsuits in the wake of the recall.
Vitaccino “Slimming” Coffee Contains Dangerous Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers that Vitaccino, a product marketed as a 100% herbal dietary aid, contains the dangerous drug sibutramine, previously sold under the trade name Meridia.
Sibutramine a Growing Problem in Dietary Supplements
According to the Plain Dealer, the FDA has discovered sibutramine n more than 30 weight loss products since January, 2013. The products included a variety of capsules, powders and other slimming coffee drinks.
Sibutramine was pulled from the market in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. During one clinical trial, called SCOUT, researchers determined that patients treated with Meridia were 16 percent more likely to suffer from non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, resuscitation after cardiac arrest and cardiovascular death than patients treated with a placebo.
Vitaccino was sold through a number of online retailers, including Amazon.
The FDA has acknowledged that incidents of illegal or unapproved ingredients being used in dietary supplements like Vitaccino are a growing problem as the products are loosely regulated and do not require FDA approval before being entered into the market.
Side Effects of Sibutramine
The following side effects have been linked to sibutramine (Meridia):
- Blood pressure increase
- Cardiac Failure
- Psychotic disorder
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Renal failure
- Heart attack
Duraflame Space Heaters Recalled – Fire Hazard
Twin-Star has recently recalled approximately 31,000 Duraflame-branded electric space heaters due to a fire and burn hazard. There have been 32 reports of the heaters burning or melting. This includes eight reports of the heaters catching fire.
About the Space Heater Recall
According the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the space heater can overheat, potentially causing the units to melt, catch fire and ignite nearby items and may pose a fire and burn hazard to consumers.
The CPSC recommends that consumers immediately turn off and unplug the space heater and contact Twin-Star for a full refund.
Description of the Recalled Space Heaters
- The recalled electric space heaters are Duraflame-branded, model DFS-220, and are available in three colors: black, red and white.
- The flame effect on the heaters resembles a fireplace and works with or without heat.
- The heaters measure approximately 14.5-inches high, 13-inches wide and 8-inches deep.
- Located on the upper left back side of the unit is the on/off switch and high/low heat settings.
- There is a Duraflame logo on the front of the product, and the model number can be found on the white label located on the heater’s back panel.
- The products were sold at Farmer’s Furniture, Meijer, QVC, R.C. Willey, Ross and other retailers nationwide and online at Maxtool.com from August 2013 through January 2014 for about $60.
Chevrolet HHR Added to GM Recall – 13 Deaths Cited
About the Chevrolet HHR Recall
Originally affecting 619,122 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s, General Motors Co. expanded its recall on Tuesday to include an additional 748,024 vehicles including all 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet HHRs.
GM first announced the recall on February 13 stating that jarring events such as bumpy roads or a heavy key chain could result in the recalled vehicles’ ignition switches moving from “run” to “accessory,” effectively shutting of the engine.
Such an event results in the loss of power brakes and power steering, and could prevent air bags from deploying in the event of a collision.
Delayed Action by GM Blamed for Multiple Deaths
According to court documents, General Motors may have known about the ignition switch issue as early as 2014 after a GM engineer experienced engine failure during a test drive.
By 2005, engineers had positively concluded that the incident was linked to the vehicle’s ignition switch, and that such switches were prone to failure.
However, it was not until 2007 that the issue was reported to regulatory authorities when GM began sending out “Technical Service Bulletins” instructing dealers to fix the problems by installing snap-on key covers. A program engineering manager later testified that the remedy was more of an “improvement” than a true “fix.”
It was not until February, roughly 10 years after learning of the defect, that GM initiated a recall and deemed the defect a safety issue.
It is currently speculated that at least 13 deaths and 30 frontal accidents may have been prevented had the company acted more quickly – two weeks ago, it was believed that only six deaths had been caused by ignition switch failure.
295,000 Toyota Motor Corp Vehicles Recalled due to Electrical Fault
Toyota Motor Corp has issued a voluntary recall for 295,000 Lexus and Toyota brand vehicles following reports of an electiricall problem that could effect the vehicles’ safety systems.
About the Toyota Motor Corp Recall
- According to the online newspaper Reuters, Toyota Motor Corp is recalling 295,000 Lexus and Toyota brand vehicles globally for electrical fault.
- The company is specifically recalling vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013.
- The recalled vehicles contain an electrical component in the brake actuator, which adjusts fluid pressure in each wheel cylinder that may experience increased resistance.
- This resistance can decrease the effectiveness of many safety systems in the car, including stability control and anti-lock brakes, increasing the risk of crashing.
- According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Toyota and Lexus dealers will update the software for the skid control electronic unit at no cost to customers.
Description of Recalled Toyota and Lexus Vehicles
The following vehicles are being recalled by Toyota Motor Corp:
- Lexus RX350 crossover vehicles (Model years 2012 and 2013)
- Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks (Model years 2012 and 2013)
- Toyota RAV4 SUVs (Model year 2012)
The Toyota Motor Corp recall pertains only to Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013, sold at dealers in the United States and in the greater global community.
NHTSA Investigates Mazda CX-9 for Brake Issue
A probe launched by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will examine the Mazda Motor Corp CX-9 large crossover vehicles from model years 2010-2011 due to several complaints regarding the loss of power-assisted braking.
About the Mazda Brake Probe
- According to the Washington Post, the 2008-model CX-9 was also suspected to have brake master cylinder leaks. However, due to the slow leak, the declining failure trend, and low probability that the issue would affect performance, the probe was closed in April 2012.
- This preliminary investigation may lead to a recall in the future. Currently, the Japanese company is cooperating with the officials in the investigation.
- There are approximately 62,319 that may have brake issues.
- They described the brake pedals’ decreasing effectiveness, and the increase in the effort required to stop the vehicle.
Additional Information on Break Failure
According to a survey taken by the NHTSA in 2008, the failure of the braking system was the second most critical reason, and accounted for 25% of crashes that were attributed to problems with the vehicles.
Common signs of brake failure include:
- Difficulty slowing/stopping the car
- Grinding or squealing noises during braking
- The vehicle pulls to one side when brakes are applied
- Pulsation or excess vibration in the brake pedal during braking
- Clicking noises during braking
GM Recalls 370,000 Vehicles Due to Fire Risk
General Motors (GM) announced Friday that it is voluntarily recalling 370,000 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks due to a potential fire risk.
Software Issue Linked to Fires in GM Vehicles
- According to the Detroit News, multiple vehicle fires have been attributed to a software issue that leads to the overheating of exhaust components.
- As the truck idles, it should only rely on two cylinders; however, the software glitch causes the vehicles to continue to use several cylinders as it idles, causing the vehicles to overheat.
- GM has confirmed eight fires caused by the glitch including a large garage fire and is urging customers to not leave their trucks unattended while idling.
About the General Motors Recall
- Of the 370,000 recalled trucks, approximately 303,000 were sold in the U.S. and 67,000 were sold in Canada and Mexico.
- The recall affects trucks with 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3-liter V-8 engines – trucks with 6.2-liter V-8 engines were not listed in the recall.
- Recall letters were mailed to customers last week. GM states that the software glitch will take roughly 20-minutes to repair.
Contact an Experienced Auto Recall Attorney
Thomas J. Henry are leaders in the area of product liability litigation. Our Defective Drug and Products Division has extensive knowledge and resources in order to represent our clients efficiently and aggressively. We represent a multitude of people who are battling against manufacturers of defective vehicles and auto parts.
Your choice does matter. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries because of a recalled vehicle or defective auto part, call Thomas J. Henry immediately. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.
Novartis Recalls over 5 Million Bottles of Potentially Contaminated Drugs
Novartis has recalled over 5 million bottles of antihypersentives, statins and other drugs following concerns that the drugs may have been contaminated by a chemical used in the company’s packaging process.
About the Novartis Recall
According to Medscape, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed a class-2 recall for a total of 127 drug lots distributed by Novartis to physicians as free samples.
Novartis is currently unsure how many samples may have reached customers, but has sent letters to physicians who received the samples and is working with them to return the recalled products.
The company has also confirmed that they will no longer be using an ink component produced by a third party to mark sample sleeves and, over time, migrated through the sleeve and bottle and into the drugs.
Products Affected by the Medicine Recall
Drugs affected by the recall include:
- Exforge (amlodipine and valsartan)
- Exforge HCT (w/ hydrochlorothiazide)
- Diovan (valsartan)
- Tekturna (aliskiren)
- Tekturna HCT (w/ hydrochlorothiazide)
- Lexcol XL (fluvastatin)
- Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa, and entacopone)
Contact an Experienced Drug Recall Attorney
Thomas J. Henry are leaders in the area of drug and product liability litigation. Our Defective Drug and Products Division have extensive knowledge and resources in order to represent our clients efficiently and aggressively. The Defective Drug and Products Division represent a multitude of people who are battling against manufacturers of medical devices and/or defective pharmaceuticals.
If you or a loved one have been injured by or have developed serious side-effects from the use of recalled medications or pharmaceuticals, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.
Feds Investigate Brilinta Clinical Trials
The U.S. Department of Justice as launched a probe investigating possible data manipulation in AstraZeneca’s Brilinta clinical trials, particularly the Plato trial.
Discrepancies and Possible Manipulation in Brilinta Clinical Trials
Brilinta is a blood thinner that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2011 as a preventive treatment for stroke, heart attack and blood problems.
Pharmalot reports that the data presented to the FDA in order to gain approval is now the subject of a federal investigation as an estimated 23 possible cardiovascular events or deaths were omitted or mitigated upon submission of the trial data to the FDA.
Further, while Brilinta subjects were more likely to be hospitalized after index events than patients on a competitor’s drug, Plavix, researchers failed to report the hospitalizations as primary events.
The FDA has stated that there “appears to be multiple serious deficiencies” in the clinical trial data, and that clinicians should “carefully reconsider their practice of (Brilinta) prescription for this indication.”
Details of the Plato Clinical Trials
- The Plato clinical trial enrolled 18,624 patients being treated for blocked arteries or heart attack across 46 countries.
- During the trials patients were given Plavix (Clopidogrel) or Brilinta (Ticagrelor) as part of a double blind study.
- While the results presented by researchers suggested treatment with Brilinta reduced death by stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular problems by 16 percent when compared to Plavix, the FDA and Department of Justice believe the data may not have been accurate or complete.
- Adverse events associated with Brilinta include:
- Heart Failure
- Allergic Reactions
- Renal Disorders
- Coronary Artery Occlusion
Plato Clinical Trial Locations
- Beverly Hills
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Fort Collins
- Washington D.C.
- Daytona Beach
- Ft. Lauderdale
- Miami Beach
- Ormond Beach
- St Petersburg
- Park Ridge
- Rock Island
- Iowa City
- West Des Moines
- Kansas City
- Ann Arbor
- Royal Oak
- St Paul
- Kansas City
- St Louis
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Johnson City
- New Hartford
- New York
- North Carolina
- Chapel Hill
- High Point
- Oklahoma City
- Camp Hill
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Rapid City
- San Antonio
- San Marcos
- Falls Church
- West Virginia
- Green Bay
Contact an Experienced Clinical Trial Attorney
Thomas J. Henry are leaders in the area clinical trial litigation. Our Defective Drug and Products Division have extensive knowledge and resources in order to represent our clients efficiently and aggressively. Our Defective Drug and Products Division represent a multitude of people who are battling against manufacturers of medical devices and/or defective pharmaceuticals.
If you or a loved one have been injured by or have developed serious side-effects while participating in a clinical trial, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.