Florida vehicles may be part of recall

Most people know by now that General Motors has had to recall several of its vehicle models due to a faulty ignition switch that can cause the vehicles to stall unexpectedly. This issue had been determined as a cause for at least 31 frontal accidents and 12 deaths, but all of the victims’ families have not been notified yet.

On March 18, GM’s CEO took questions from reporters at a media roundtable, but she would not comment on why the company has yet to release a list of the switch-related accidents. The auto manufacturer has been taking criticism for not doing the recall sooner, as reports of the problem were coming in, in 2004. There are currently still approximately 1.6 million vehicles on the road that still have the switch but were not part of the recall.

The CEO also did not comment on whether accidents that happened prior to the company’s 2009 bankruptcy will be part of any upcoming legal action since bankruptcy protects the company from any civil suits related to events prior to the bankruptcy. The Center for Auto Safety has requested that GM waive that shield.

The center’s executive director has also said that he believes it likely that all of the families of the 12 confirmed fatalities due to the switch may not be aware that it is what caused the accidents. While GM may not have a legal obligation to release the names of the victims, not knowing that the faulty switch contributed to the accident may stop some families from filing wrongful death suits against the company. While GM has made some steps, such as creating a vice president of global vehicle safety position, there is clearly more to come from this recall, including possible further litigation.

Source: CNN Money, “GM hasn’t notified recall victims’ families” Chris Isidore, Mar. 18, 2014

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