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San Diego Personal Injury, GM defect intentionally concealed

GM has released new details about another serious defect in their vehicles leading to personal injury lawsuits. According to GM, ignition switches in certain vehicles can deactivate in a collision, causing the airbags to, in turn, deactivate. The force of the crash actually turns the vehicles' airbags off and prevents them from deploying. This increases the chance of serious personal injury and  wrongful death.

This most recent press release comes less than a month after GM admitted that the faulty ignition switches could spontaneously turn from the "on" to the "off" or "accessory" position. This can lead to loss of vehicle power, loss of power steering, and non-deployment of airbags, leaving drivers helpless. According to GM's records, factors as insignificant as a heavy key chain or driving over a bumpy road can trigger the defect.

The GM vehicle models being recalled are the 2005-2010 Chevy Cobalt and 2006-2011 Chevy HHR; the 2007-2010 Pontiac G5 and the 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice; and the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion and the 2007-2010 Saturn Sky.

The defective vehicles appear to be the product of a systemic culture of deception in GM. Initial reports revealed that GM was aware of faulty ignition switches as far back as 2001, but failed to take appropriate measures. However, the most recent reports indicate that not only was GM aware of the problem, but that it also used deceptive measures to conceal the problem.

Ordinarily, when a defect in a vehicle part is discovered, a new part is created and is then given a new unique part number. This makes it possible to differentiate between the two parts.  Mechanics can identify the defective part and replace it.

Investigation in a personal injury lawsuit revealed an in-house memo showing a top GM engineer specifically ordered that the new part not be given a new part number. It appears this was intentional and done to conceal knowledge of the defective part. Sadly, this made it impossible for mechanics to differentiate between the two parts thus leaving countless drivers with fatally defective vehicles.

The morally reprehensible actions of GM demand legal repercussions, including punitive damages. Victims should seek out experienced legal counsel to help them navigate these extraordinarily complicated legal matters.

At the Law Offices of David P. Beeson & Associates, our attorneys have that experience. Our experience in vehicle design and manufacture defects dates back to the Suzuki Samurai rollover litigation. Visit our website at or call us at 619-233-6078. We can help.

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