Over the past 18 months, auto manufacturers have announced numerous recalls, reaching into the millions of vehicles. These recalls have involved a number of issues, ranging from faulty ignition switches to airbags that sporadically deploy without warning. In a recent case brought by a couple who sustained minor injuries in a Saturn Sky, the jury found that although the vehicle was “unreasonably dangerous” because it contained a faulty ignition switch, that was not the cause of the accident, and GM should not be held liable as a result. However, the judge overseeing the trial warned followers not to read too deeply into the jury’s verdict, since it may not be an accurate prediction of how other cases may turn out.
Dangerous Components Make for Dangerous Vehicles
Auto manufacturers have a duty to their customers to make safe vehicles. Of course, despite the best efforts of a manufacturer, a defective part may be included in a vehicle, making it dangerous to drive. Most of the time, when this occurs, a manufacturer will issue a voluntary recall in order to fix all the potentially dangerous vehicles. However, a recall may be issued too late to help all drivers. In these cases, injured motorists may be able to seek compensation for their injuries through a product liability case against the auto manufacturer.
Ignition Switch Claims
Over the past few years, drivers of various GM vehicles have reported problems with the ignition switches installed on the company’s vehicles. When the ignition switch is defective, it can slip out of place and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. In some cases, drivers have also reported that the vehicle becomes difficult to stop once the switch slips. The defective switches have resulted in hundreds of serious accidents, some fatal.
Last year, GM announced that it had settled about 400 cases relating to the faulty ignition switches, totaling about $600 million. Of these cases, about 125 resulted in death and another 275 in serious injury. However, this figure represents only about 10% of the claims that were made. The remaining 90% of the claims were rejected by GM. These people have been left to seek compensation for their injuries through the court system.
Have You Been Injured by a Dangerous or Defective Vehicle?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover the costs of your injuries. Of course, the manufacturer is likely going to contest the claims you make against it in hopes of avoiding what could be a costly pay-out. To make sure that you are treated fairly throughout the process, it is best to proceed with a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney by your side. Call the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to set up a free consultation. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation on your part unless we are able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
Court Holds City Employee Not Entitled to Immunity in Premises Liability Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 7, 2016.
FDA Issues a “Black Box” Warning for Birth-Control Device Essure, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2016.