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After Years of Denial, GM admits Potentially Fatal Flaw

After repeated denials that there were any problems with the ignition switches in their Chevrolet Cobalt models, General Motors has finally recalled the Chevy Cobalt, and five other models made between 2003 and 2007. Recent news reports have revealed what many Cobalt owners have been telling GM for years. A defect in the ignition switches in some Cobalt models causes the engine to shut off suddenly, preventing drivers from steering, braking and otherwise controlling their vehicle and preventing airbags from deploying in a collision. The defect has led to many accidents that have killed at least 26 people and injured dozens more. Growing evidence of the problem and several investigative reports into the fatal accidents prompted GM to finally recall 1.6 million Chevrolet Cobalt models and other small cars.

Cobalt owners first began reporting the problem with Cobalt ignitions abruptly turning off the engine of the car in 2004. However, GM told owners that they did not have enough evidence to prove there was a defect. The automaker kept receiving reports about the problem in the ensuing years but refused to acknowledge the defect or issue a recall to correct the problems. However, recently uncovered internal memos show that GM knew that they had a serious problem with Cobalt models in 2009. At a meeting on May 15, 2009, GM engineers learned that data from the black boxes installed in Cobalts and some other models confirmed that a potentially deadly defect existed in hundreds of thousands of cars.

In the months and years after the meeting, more and more documents and investigations into the problems proved that the car was dangerous, yet GM still told the families of accident victims and other customers that they did not have enough evidence to indicate there was a problem. When the family of one fatal Cobalt crash victim filed a lawsuit against the automaker, GM threatened to have their legal team come after the family to reimburse the company for legal expenses if the lawsuit was not dropped.

General Motors has a huge problem on their hands. It appears that they knowingly and deliberately denied for years that some of their cars had a life-threatening defect that could cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, yet they stonewalled customers and refused to remedy the problem. Even worse, it appears that they could have taken action years ago that would have saved lives and prevented hundreds of injuries but they refused to issue a recall.

If you or a close family member has been injured by a defective product and you would like to speak with an Orlando product liability attorney with decades of experience and success building and winning product liability cases, call James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Unlike some Orlando personal injury lawyers who meet with prospective clients and then hand their case to younger, less experienced members of the firm, Mr. Cunningham handles each aspect of every client’s case personally. This ensures that his clients benefit from his more than 37 years of presenting cases in many different levels of state and federal courts. Call him today and get his skills, resources and experience on your side!

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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