What would be an acceptable amount of time for a car manufacturer to have not taken action about a defect if it led to the death or injury of your loved one?
A defective products is defined by BusinessDictionary.com as a commercially produced and distributed good that is 1) unfit for its intended use, 2) dangerous or harmful for normal use, 3) does not carry adequate instructions for its use, or 4) is inherently dangerous due to defective design, assembly, or manufacture.
It now appears the faulty ignition switches in some General Motor (GM) vehicles were defective and this has caused the recall of approximately 2.6 million vehicles. What is less clear is why the NHTSA or GM did not taken action before now to remedy this very dangerous problem.
The most disturbing aspect of the recent General Motor (GM) vehicle recall is how long the defect was allegedly known without any action being taken. According to reports, GM knew about the issues affecting more than 2 million cars as early as 2005.
GM has begun shipping parts to car dealers in the U.S. to repair the defective ignition switches for 1.4 million small cars and are planning on further action in May to repair some of the other affected vehicles. Car manufacturers are supposed to make vehicles that are safe but sometimes company profit margins cause them to ignore possibly deadly defects.
One of the tragedies that led to the recent recall of approximately 2 million GM vehicles by the NHTSA was the accident that left 17-year-old Megan Phillips with a traumatic brain injury along with other injuries. Two of the Megan's friends in the car did not survive the accident that caused Megan's injuries. At least 12 other accidents have been linked to the product defects in GM vehicles so far.
There are at least 55 lawsuits resulting from the accidents and injuries caused by the GM vehicle defects and there will likely be many more in the near future. Additionally, an SEC probe has been opened over GM's handling of the defect.
There are many complicated legal theories regarding liability (which deals with who is at fault) in defective motor vehicle claims. For example, breach of express warranties is a theory that involves the violation of a “written warranty or guarantee.” Another theory deals with breach of implied warranties, which don't necessarily involve an express warranty: Georgia is one such state in which this theory can possibly be used in your claim. Finally, strict products liability is another theory that may be used in Georgia defective motor vehicle claims, although there are several things that must be shown for a claim that uses this theory to be successful.
Since the recent recall, GM's profits have fallen 85% according to the New York Times. Ironically, car manufacturers drive for profits are the same reason why they sometimes ignore possibly deadly defects. Car manufactures knowingly selling dangerous vehicles with defective parts is why it is so important that the people who are harmed by these defects must have legal recourse against the manufacturer of the defective vehicle.