On February 13, 2014 General Motors ("GM") recalled approximately three quarters of a million vehicles. The recalled vehicles included the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5. The recall was issued as a result of a defect in the ignition switch. The switch, which is prone to inadvertent shut off while driving, can cause a cut off to the driver's power steering and brakes, as well as safety systems such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. The recall announced that heavy key chains could cause the switches to move out of the "on" position, shutting down the engine and power systems.
Despite the inherent risk in having these vehicles on the road, General
Motors knew back in 2004, a decade prior to the recent recall, that the
Cobalt had such an ignition switch problem. In addition, the company said
it knew of 22 crashes, including five in which airbags did not deploy
and six people were killed.
GM created a snap-on key cover to try to help with the ignition issue and advised dealers in a 2005 technical service bulletin to install the part if owners complained. Clearly this "temporary fix" failed. Despite the number of accidents and deaths over the last ten years, General Motors has only now finally recalled the defective vehicles. Even though GM acknowledged the problem in the 2005 technical service bulletin, they did not tell dealers to put the new key cover on the keys of new Cobalts before they were sold or inform the buyer of the defect.
As a result of General Motors' failure to act, many innocent drivers have been injured. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of this defect, please contact our firm. We have vast experience in dealing with automobile product liability accidents and cases.