A recently-discovered problem with a number of Buick and Chevy sedans has led to yet another General Motors (GM) vehicle recall. The defect is in the brake system and might put drivers at a serious risk of an accident.
Brake Problems with Recalled Chevy and Buick Vehicles
Essentially, the manufacturer installed rear brake rotors on the front brake systems for many 2014 Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu vehicles. Because the rear rotors for the vehicles are 7 mm thinner than the front ones, this mistake can lead to overheating from the additional friction between the pads and rotors. If the brakes become hot enough, they can fail entirely, possibly leading to a car accident.
Of the vehicles GM believes were affected, 8,208 were sold in the US, 209 in Canada and 173 were sold in Mexico. Additionally, the company thinks that consumers have only 1,694 of the affected cars, and the rest are still on dealers’ lots. GM sent a letter about the Buick, Chevy recall to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on May 8.
For the 2014 year, GM has issued 19 recalls affecting 5.4 million cars. In one of the most serious defects recently, the company recalled around 2.6 million vehicles for a problem with the ignition system. The defect can cause the car’s engine to shut off unexpectedly and has been linked to at least 13 deaths nationwide.
How to Fix the Defect
Under federal regulations, GM will send letters to affected owners notifying them of the defect within 60 days. Vehicle owners can come into their local dealership to have their brakes inspected, and the company will replace any misassembled front brake rotors they find at no charge to the owner. There are also courtesy rental cars available to the affected owners at no charge.
Product Defect Liability Claims for Injured Drivers
Manufacturers like General Motors issue vehicle recalls when a vehicle doesn’t comply with federal standards or when the automaker discovers a safety defect. Either the NHTSA or the vehicle manufacturer can issue a recall based on their investigations. In order for a safety defect to exist, the problem must affect a defined group of vehicles.
You may be able to file a product defect lawsuit against an automaker if you suffered an accident because of the defective vehicle. Manufacturers are liable to consumers for the harms their products cause regardless of whether the company used reasonable care in making their product. To win these cases, the plaintiff needs to prove:
- they were injured in the accident;
- their car was defective; and
- the defect caused their accident and injuries.