General Motors is recalling another 7.6 million vehicles, bringing the total recall count to 27 million cars and trucks around the world in just this year alone. Unfortunately, for many, the auto recalls are a case of “too little, too late” given that GM said it is aware of seven crashes and eight injuries, along with the three deaths, among the recalled vehicles. According to CBS News, the fatal accidents involved older full-size sedans being recalled for what the auto giant described as “inadvertent key rotation.” Moreover, GM is currently under investigation for at least 13 deaths and more than 50 accidents cause by defective ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other vehicles.
Amidst the additional recalls, GM recently announced that it is offering to pay as much as several million dollars to each of the families of people killed and severely injured in accidents caused by defective ignition switches. According to the Washington Post, lawyer Kenneth R. Feinberg, a compensation specialist hired by GM to design and administer a victims compensation fund, said that “for those who were killed or suffered catastrophic injuries such as paralysis, severe burns or amputations because of the defect, the size of the settlement would be based on their age, earning potential, medical expenses and family obligations.”
As we reported, the GM auto defect debacle is the most recent catastrophe in a wave of auto defect tragedies that has caused many people to wonder whether we need stricter auto defect regulations. In fact, some lawmakers are calling on federal regulators to enact laws that would require better communication between auto makers and the government.
While many auto recalls are for relatively minor problems, some auto defects – such as Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem, the defective generator control modules in the electric car Tesla, or the defective ignition switch in the GM vehicles – can cause significant injuries and deaths. Accordingly, it is critically important that drivers fix auto recall problems. In most cases, an auto defect in an open recall will be fixed free of charge if the vehicle is taken to the manufacturer’s dealership. Car owners can check the recall status of their vehicle by visiting the Carfax website and entering the vehicle VIN number. Recall status can also be checked at Safercar.gov, which allows consumers to search certain vehicle makes and models, but the website does not provide vehicle-specific recall information. Common auto defects include:
- Child safety seats
- Stability problems/rollovers
- Defective airbags
- Car fires
- Defective seatbelts
- Tire defects
- Door latch failure
- Steering problems
- Electronic wiring malfunctions
- Sudden acceleration
- Defective brakes
Contact an Illinois Auto Accident Lawyer
If you were injured or a loved one was killed as a result of a defective vehicle, you may be entitled to money damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC will fight to get you maximum compensation from all possible sources, including auto makers and negligent motorists. Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Chicago car accident lawyers.