Unfortunately in our country delayed recalls or forced recalls is not a new concept. Auto accidents happen every day where drivers and passengers are needlessly injured or killed. In addition to this, some auto manufactures knowingly endanger consumers by putting defective products on the market or fail to remove defective automotive products from the market. They put profits over your safety.
General Motors (GM) is the latest vehicle manufacturer under scrutiny by safety regulators, a U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, and by U.S. House and Senate Committees for their delayed reporting and inaction.
The Center for Auto Safety released a new study referencing crash and fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and found that 303 deaths were reported when airbags failed to deploy in the 1.6 million compact cars recalled in February by General Motors. GM reported it only had 12 deaths in 34 crashes .
At issue and the reason for the recall involved ignition switches that could be bumped out of the “Run” position into the “Off” or “Accessory” position, which could then cause the power braking and steering, as well as the airbags, to stop working.
It turns out that GM knew of an issue with their ignition switch back in 2001 and offered dealers service bulletins for suggested remedies in 2005, but didn’t recall any vehicles until 2014; despite numerous consumer complaints and little action from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Clarence Ditlow, The Center for Auto Safety’s executive director, said, “NHTSA could and should have initiated a defect investigation to determine why airbags were not deploying in Cobalts and Ions in increasing numbers.”
In addition Reuters reported that, The Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizen, in a letter to GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, complained that a combination of a statute of limitations and rules under which a reorganized GM operates could prevent victims from pursuing legal action against the automaker.
“By concealing the ignition key defect for at least 10 years, GM created more victims and then robbed them of their legal rights through the passage of time,” wrote Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, and Joan Claybrook, president emeritus of Public Citizen.
In situations like this, often law suits are necessary as consumers need to be protected and vehicle manufacturers need to be held accountable.