Just when it seemed it couldn’t get any worse, General Motors (GM) is in hot water again. On the heels of a massive recall involving faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths, a new problem has emerged. Keys in the same vehicles in the previous General Motors recall can come out of the ignition even when the engine is running.

GM’s Latest Recall Involves a Separate Issue with the Ignition

In February, faulty ignition switches led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles. The problem stems from the car turning off while in operation, which could also keep the airbags from deploying in an accident.

But now another part requires replacement: the ignition lock cylinder. Drivers may believe the engine is off and vehicle in park if they are able to remove the key. If that occurs, the car may roll away. Although it’s a danger in any setting, the risk of a rollaway while parked on a hill is higher. Until they get the vehicle repaired, to avoid problems, drivers should use the key only and not have anything else on the key ring.

The company is offering loaners to drivers who need them. About 22,000 have taken advantage of this so far, according to media reports. GM also indicates that some customers will receive new keys. But it’s possible a federal judge in Texas will ground all vehicles, reports NBC News. And the judge may force the company to offer loaner vehicles to all owners until the completion of repairs.

With regard to this newest ignition problem, GM is aware of several hundred complaints. It’s unclear if it’s caused any accidents or incidences.  All model years on the latest General Motors recall list are affected:

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

When a Vehicle Defect is the Cause of Injuries or Death

What makes this situation egregious is that GM knew of the problems surrounding the ignition switches. It’s not clear if the company was aware of the faulty ignition lock cylinder. Waiting has cost them not only in terms of money but reputation.

Among the third parties that might be liable for an auto accident is a vehicle manufacturer. A car manufacturer’s awareness of a defect doesn’t determine victims’ right to seek legal action. Even if the manufacturer had no knowledge of a defect, it’s still possible to file a claim. There must be evidence the faulty part caused serious or fatal injuries. Of course, learning a manufacturer knew of a problem and could have fixed it makes the situation more tragic.

Families who suspect a link between vehicle defects – in GM or other vehicles –and an injury or a loved one’s traffic fatality should seek legal counsel. Call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation.

Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.