Recalls of automobiles can be some of the scariest types of Chicago product liability lawsuits, partially because Illinoisans use their cars so often, and partially because the injuries caused when a car fails can be very serious.
Just this week, General Motors announced that they are recalling more than 6,000 large vans and SUVs because the steering in the vehicles can fail.
General Motors (GM) is an American car manufacturing corporation, and is the second-largest automobile production company in the world. GM’s business sells vehicles under the brands Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Opel, Vauxhall, and Holden, which are distributed across 157 countries. This particular recall affects 2012 Chevrolet Express vans, GMC Savana [sic] vans, Chevrolet Suburban SUVs, and GMC’s Yukon XL SUVs. The two types of affected cans can carry as many as 15 passengers each, and are often used in shuttle services by churches and airport shuttle services. According to a public statement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the gear shaft in these automobiles can break while the car is in use, causing a loss of steering and potentially a loss of control of the vehicle.
As per a recent report by MSNBC, the problem was discovered in testing by the company that makes the gear shafts. Although to date, no injuries have yet been reported, our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand how devastating the potential injuries may be.
This is General Motors’ second major automobile recall in recent times; in November, GM announced a recall of their Chevrolet Volt due to fire risks associated with its lithium-ion battery.
When a company, such as an auto-maker, manufactures a product to be marketed to the public, that company is responsible for ensuring the safety of those products. There are three main types of Illinois product liability claims:
1. A manufacturing defect, which generally occurs when an otherwise safe product is assembled carelessly;
2. A design defect, which occurs when, no matter how well the product is put together, its intent or layout is inherently dangerous;
3. A failure to warn, which can occur when a product markets a product that they know to be potentially hazardous, and fails to warn consumers of the latent danger.
In the situation involving the steering failure in these vehicles, the faulty gear shaft is a form of a design defect. As a result, GM may be held legally responsible if the product causes injury to consumers, even if they were not negligent in making that product defective.
Our Chicago injury lawyers understand how difficult it can be to endure injuries that arise from Illinois products liability cases. They won a $3 million settlement against a car manufacturer that improperly designed the fuel delivery system of a vehicle, resulting in a fuel-fed fire after a head-on collision, which killed the occupants of the vehicle.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a flawed or faulty product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please contact an attorney immediately to be apprised of your rights under the law.