The automaker giant General Motors is facing increased pressure from both lawmakers and the public. This scrutiny has intensified as it has come to light that the company may have known about the increased risk for a car accident in certain vehicles. New York readers have likely heard of the unfolding drama after GM recalled millions of vehicles because of a high risk of ignition shut-off with certain models.
New documentation suggests that the automaker was well-aware of these risks before they came to the attention of the public. The criminal investigation against the automaker has been trying to discern if GM knowingly and willingly hid the defect. It has been stated that GM avoided answering questions from safety regulators about accidents where the ignition suddenly shut off while the vehicle was in motion.
There are several fatal accidents under investigation, during which unassuming motorists were killed because of the ignition shut-off switch. During many of these accidents, there are reports that the air bags did not deploy. There are also accusations that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration was not monitoring GM as it should have been.
If a person has died in a car accident caused by the auto defect, families of the deceased may have grounds to seek financial compensation for their pain and suffering. GM's liability for the defect is clear and it would be well within the rights of these families to file a civil case against the automaker. If a New York reader is considering a personal injury or wrongful death case for any reason, it is always best to begin with a close examination of the individual case.
Source: The New York Times, "Documents Show General Motors Kept Silent on Fatal Crashes", Rebecca Ruiz and Danielle Ivory, July 15, 2014