General Motors has been fined the largest amount in history for failure to report a safety defect and respond to government agency investigations in a timely manner. The car company will pay $35 million to the federal government. GM has also entered into a consent agreement in which the company will turn over the results of internal investigations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will overhaul its internal system for dealing with safety issues.
Clearly, GM needs to do something to improve safety and this settlement may provide the impetus the car company needs. GM has recalled more vehicles so far in 2014 than the company has sold in the U.S. since 2009. The company has had safety problems linked to 12 deaths and 46 injuries.
When an accident occurs and a vehicle defect may have caused or contributed to injury, victims or family members need to consult a personal injury lawyer. There may be multiple parties who are to blame and who must compensate crash victims, including the car company as well as drivers whose negligence played a role in causing the accident.
GM Recalls a Record Number of Vehicles
CNN recently reported that GM had recalled more cars in 2014 than in the history of the company. This was even before recent news from Auto News that another 30,000 Saab convertibles were being recalled as a result of a problem with seat belts failing to properly retract.
Some of the recalls were related to problems with the ignition switch. The switch could turn from “Run” to “Accessory” unexpectedly as a person was driving. As a result, this would end up turning off the power-steering, the car’s engine and the air bags. It was this defect that allegedly caused accidents that took lives and injured countless motorists.
GM may have been aware of the problems with the ignition switch as early as 2001. Yet, although the car company is required to notify the NHTSA and instituted a recall within five business days of identifying a safety defect, GM did nothing for years.
Tahoes, Sierras and Silverados were also reportedly recalled because of problems with the steering.
Car manufacturers have a responsibility to the public not to let problems like these occur. Consumers should also do their research so they make smart choices about the vehicles that they buy. Safer Car is a good resource for consumers who are shopping for a car to buy. At this site, consumers can access information on:
- Crash test ratings for both new and used vehicles.
- Notices of safety recalls and investigations.
- Complaints and defects identified in certain vehicle models.
- Car seats.
- Car safety features and technologies.
- Tire safety issues including tire ratings and maintenance tips to keep tires in good shape and reduce the risk of blow outs.
Consumers can sign up for free recall alerts on their phones so they are notified right away if a problem is identified with a car they are driving.
A personal injury attorney in Washington, D.C. can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit http://www.slocumblaw.com.