While it is already unfortunate that so many auto-makers have recently become involved in product liability investigations due to their negligence with these dangerous vehicles, it is worse when it becomes known to the public and lawmakers that a manufacturer was aware of their defective products for such a long period of time but continued to put unknowing drivers and passengers at risk for serious personal injuries. It is hard to swallow that a company could actually put loyal customers at risk for a decade.
According to an article by Reuters, in a recent Senate hearing, General Motors was labeled as having a “culture of cover-up” for a decade-long failure to notify of defective parts linked to deadly motor vehicle accidents. Senators have challenged General Motors’ claims that they have improved their safety and management practices. The Senate and House committees are continuing to investigate why it took the company over a decade to recall 2.6 million cars.
For instance, they questioned the CEO as to why the company redesigned faulty ignition switches, yet kept the same problematic part. This has lawmakers concerned over whether the company was just trying to cover up the problems, despite years of complaints and over 13 deaths specifically linked to the faulty part. However, the CEO acknowledged that it was unacceptable that GM has issued new parts without new models or serial numbers and has admitted that this violates fundamental practices. However, the Senate was concerned, that even though it may have been old GM management that these problems were attributed to, when new management came into authority after the 2009 bankruptcy, it still took the company over 9 months to take any action, even after having evidence of the safety problems.
The problem part at issue here can make engines stall without any warning while they are still in operation. They can also stop air bags from deploying. Furthermore, this can also prevent power steering and power brakes from operating. These are all vital functions of a vehicle for its operation and its safety. Without such functions working properly, it is evident that a vehicle is not safe for use.
As our attorneys stress, in product liability law, a company can be held liable for negligence where they have knowingly placed a defective product in the market, failed to inspect a product for problems, or have failed to warn consumers of known dangers. As there were so many diverse and significant problems with the vehicles over such a lengthy time-span, it may soon be clear that General Motors was aware of safety issues, failed to warn consumers, and knowingly allowed the dangerous vehicles to remain in the marketplace and in the hands of innocent drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous and defective product, such as machinery, food, pharmaceuticals, household products, or automobiles, you may be able to hold the manufacturer or store liable for providing you with this harmful good and obtain compensation for your injuries and suffering in a product liability lawsuit. Our law firm offers free consultations, so call us today, and one of our attorneys will gladly discuss your potential claim with you.