What Are Your Rights If Your Chevy Cobalt Has Been Recalled for a Faulty Ignition Switch? March 29, 2014
GM recalled its 2005-2007 Chevy Cobalts for faulty ignition switches, which are alleged to have caused a number of deaths and traumatic injuries. GM expects to begin replacing the ignitions in April 2014 and will not charge consumers for the repairs. If you have received a recall notice, you need to make an appointment with your dealer to have the part replaced. Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/personalinjurylawyerphiladelphia
How Dangerous Is This Defect? When the ignition switch malfunctions, the vehicle’s electrical system loses power and the engine shuts off. Your power steering and brakes cease to work, and your airbags cannot deploy. In other words, you are far more likely to crash and will not have the protection of your airbags when you do.
How Likely Is This to Happen? All it takes is a jarring of the system. A heavy chain of keys, a pot-hole, or a bump in the road can do it—even a jostling of the keys with the driver’s knee. GM has sternly cautioned owners to remove everything but the ignition keys from their key rings until the parts can be replaced. In addition, the company is said to have instructed dealers to lend replacement vehicles to owners who are afraid to drive their Cobalts before the repairs have been completed.
What Can You Do If You’ve Been Injured Due to a Defective Vehicle? If you are injured in an accident and your injuries are found to have resulted from the defective design or manufacture of your vehicle, you may be entitled to compensatory damages (i.e., damages that compensate you for your losses) for things such as your medical expenses, loss of earnings and ability to earn, physical pain and suffering, and even mental anguish. In some cases, punitive (i.e., punishing) damages may also be awarded. These additional damages may be warranted if the manufacturer was aware of a defect and its danger to the public but failed to take adequate steps to correct it. As
stated below, GM has been alleged to have engaged in exactly this sort of egregious conduct. Lawsuits have already been filed against GM for injuries suffered as a result of the Cobalt ignition-switch defect. But, there is a glitch in these particular cases: GM’s recent bankruptcy.
Will GM’s Bankruptcy Prevent You from Being Compensated for Your Injuries? GM’s bankruptcy falls under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S. Code Chapter 11), which allows a company that cannot meet its debts to reorganize its business. The effect of GM’s chapter 11 reorganization on a consumer’s ability to recover for injuries resulting from the Cobalt ignitionswitch defect is a complicated issue. As a result of GM’s reorganization, it became, in legal effect, a different corporation than the one that existed prior to its bankruptcy. As of June 10, 2009, the old GM ceased to exist and a new GM was born. Under the terms of the bankruptcy order, the new GM cannot be held liable for anything the old GM did or failed to do. Since the recalled Cobalts were manufactured in 2005 to 2007, most of the claims that might have been brought against GM as a result of the ignition defects cannot be brought against the current GM. More Info at facebook.com/personalinjurylawyerphiladelphia
Is There Any Way Around This Bankruptcy Barrier? As the bankruptcy order relates only to claims arising before the bankruptcy, any claims that arise after GM’s bankruptcy can be brought against the current GM. As to claims arising before GM’s bankruptcy, GM may be liable for those injuries, as well. Under Title 49 of the U.S. Code, NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, issues Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards which GM must comply with. According to NHTSA, GM violated these standards, because it was aware of the defect and the injuries it caused, yet failed to take steps to repair the affected vehicles. Because GM also failed to inform the bankruptcy court of the defect and the liabilities that could occur as a result, lawyers across the country are filing suits alleging that the current GM is liable for injuries that occurred before June 10, 2009. Cases involving serious injuries due to defective products require the assistance of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys. The Killino Firm has handled
many national vehicle-recall matters. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a defective vehicle, the Killino Firmâ€™s experienced team of car-recall attorneys is ready to assist you.