Congressional hearings are underway this week to investigate how long General Motors knew about the ignition switch problem before it initiated the first wave of recalls earlier this year. Documents obtained by media outlets reveal that GM learned of the defect as early as 2001, during the pre-production testing of the Saturn Ion. The following year, GM approved the use of the ignition switch even after informed by the supplier that it did not meet GM’s performance specifications. In 2005, the automaker rejected multiple proposals to resolve the problem because it would cost too much and take too long. Reuters reported today that the fix would have cost less than $1 per car.
Last week, GM further expanded its recall of vehicles with defective ignition switches to include all the following model years and makes:
- 2003-2007 Saturn Ion;
- 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada);
- 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt;
- 2005-2010 Pontiac G5;
- 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice;
- 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR; and,
- 2007-2010 Saturn Sky.
The faulty switches have been linked to at least 31 crashes and 13 deaths. If you, a family member, or loved one suffered serious injuries or death in an accident involving one of the vehicles recalled by General Motors, please contact Pfaff, Gill & Ports, Ltd. to discuss your case with one of our product liability attorneys today at (312) 828-9666 or by e-mail.
Sources: Reuters (via HuffPostBiz), GM Didn’t Fix Deadly Ignition Switch Because It Would Have Cost $1 Per Car, Paul Lienert and Marilyn Thompson, 4/2/14
NPR News, Timeline: A History of GM’s Ignition Switch Defect, Tanya Basu, 3/31/14