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GM faces liability over defect that caused car crashes

West Virginia readers have likely already heard about the legal troubles GM is facing right now over an ignition switch defect that resulted in the recall of 1.62 million cars. The defect, it is now known, caused at least 12 deaths and 31 car accidents. GM has publicly stated that the defect with the ignition switch is the reason for these incidents, but new litigation claims there is more to it than that.

On Monday, a lawsuit filed by a group of law firms alleges that GM knew not only about the defect itself, but also the fact that the switch was situated in a spot where it could easily be bumped and potentially cause harm to consumers. Because of this, the suit argues, GM needs to do more than simply replace the switches in recalled vehicles; it must also take steps to ensure plenty of clearance between the driver’s leg and the key or fob. 

The suit claims that GM knew as long ago as 2001 that the key ignition system could potentially cause the engine to stop on occasion, but did not address the problem before selling the vehicles.

As the Los Angeles Times and other news sources point out, GM is also facing potential liability for the crashes even though the issues concern liabilities that predated its 2009 bankruptcy. It remains to be seen what will happen with that aspect of the debacle.

When serious car accidents occur, it is important for crash victims to know who they can hold accountable. Of course, it does help to tap into the expertise of an experienced attorney when working on such cases. 

Source: USA Today, “Suit alleges second ignition defect in GM recall,” Chris Woodyard, March 24, 2014. 

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