General Motors Recall: Billion Dollar Trouble

Recently, General Motors has faced major trouble with the ignition system of some of its cars. These systems are currently the subject of a massive recall. If a driver suffered injuries in an accident because of the problems related to a vehicle defect, he or she has legal options to recover damages.

The Latest General Motors Recall

The ignition switches of certain GM cars can switch to the off position while the car is running, shutting off the engine. As a result, the car’s airbags will not deploy, the car’s power steering won’t work and the anti-lock brake system can fail as well. This can lead to car accidents and may worsen injuries if the airbags don’t deploy.

Now, there’s a problem with the ignition lock cylinder, prompting General Motors to recall even more vehicles. Drivers may be able to remove the key from the ignition even when the engine is running. If a driver is able to remove the key, he or she may believe the engine is off and the car is in park. This might lead to rollaway accidents, especially if the vehicle is on a hill or incline.

Now, GM is recalling all model years of the vehicles affected by the ignition switch recall. Below are the vehicle makes and models affected by the recall:

  • Chevrolet Cobalt;
  • Chevrolet HHR;
  • Pontiac G5;
  • Pontiac Solstice;
  • Saturn Ion; and
  • Saturn Sky.


GM has sent letters about the recall to car owners and will replace parts for all affected vehicles. Media reports indicate that fixing the new problem with the lock cylinder could cost about $1.3 billion.

In the meantime, the company has advised owners to take their key off of their key ring, or remove other items from the key ring. The weight of other keys and miscellaneous items could cause the key to slip out of the ignition.

Legal Options for Drivers Affected by Ignition or Other Vehicle Defects

Drivers in accidents caused by or made worse by ignition system failure, or other vehicle defects, can file a product liability claim against GM or another manufacturer. The ignition system failure is a design defect, and if an accident was directly caused by the defect, the company can be liable. Manufacturers have a responsibility to produce products that are safe for the general public; if they fail to do so, they may be liable for any damages that result because of the defect.

Drivers considering a product defect lawsuit should connect with an attorney to review their case and liability of the manufacturer. This may require expert testimony regarding whether the defect is related to the accident. An attorney can also review the types of damages that may be recoverable in a product liability claim.

Cordisco & Saile LLC helps accident victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who believe a vehicle defect is to blame for the accident. Call us at 215-642-2335 to schedule your free consultation about your case.