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GM facing legal challenges on multiple fronts


The AP reports, “A northwest Alabama man is suing General Motors, claiming his daughter’s death was caused by an ignition switch that is the subject of a large recall.” The AP notes that “Steve Smith filed the suit Monday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court on behalf of his daughter, Aubrey Wallace Williams of Anderson.” The AP explains that “the suit says the ignition in her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt went out on Dec. 4, 2013, causing the vehicle to become uncontrollable.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that “plaintiffs in a lawsuit against General Motors Co. (GM) asked a federal judge in Texas to force the automaker to send a “Park it Now” warning to car owners not to drive recalled models until faulty ignitions are fixed.” Bloomberg News says that “Charles and Grace Silvas, who sued GM this month in a proposed class action for as much as $10 billion for the lost value of 1.6 million cars it recalled, filed the request two days ago with U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi.”

CNN reports on another suit, filed in San Francisco on Monday, “brought on behalf of 13 car owners in 9 states.” CNN says that “lawyers are seeking class-action status to compensate owners of the 1.4 million cars that GM recalled in the United States due to the faulty ignition switch.”

Observers ask if NHTSA “dropped the ball” on GM defects.

The Wall Street Journal reports that NHTSA is coming under increased scrutiny after evidence has surfaced that the agency missed signs pointing toward defective ignition switches in certain GM vehicles. In addition to congressional investigations, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has ordered a review that determines how NHTSA can improve its data analysis. The Journal also notes that Foxx has told Congress that agency officials didn’t know everything GM knew about the ignition switch problems. “It is our belief that had we known there was an issue, that might have changed the outcome of those initial crash investigations,” Foxx said.

Herb Weisbaum writes at NBC News that “consumer advocates want to see things change at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration” because “they believe these dangerous vehicles would have been recalled many years ago had the safety agency done its job.” According to Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, “NHTSA is simply not protecting the public from safety defects as it’s supposed to do.”

Safety advocates question whether NHTSA has sufficient resources.

Bloomberg News reports, “The U.S. office responsible for monitoring safety defects in cars has had its budget stagnate and its staff cut by one-fifth from highs more than a decade ago, when Congress tried to strengthen it.” Bloomberg News notes that “while no one has connected cuts to the failure to order a recall earlier of 1.6 million General Motors Co. cars linked to 12 deaths, safety advocates say U.S. investigators don’t have enough resources to keep up with data and detect patterns.” Meanwhile, Nathan Naylor, a spokesman for NHTSA, “defended the agency’s track record, saying its investigations have led to 929 recalls involving more than 55 million vehicles in the past seven years.”

We believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. If you or a loved one has been affected by this recall, and you believe it caused an injury, contact Chhabra & Gibbs today by going to or by calling this number: 601-948-8005.

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