General Motors, the parent company of Buick, is recalling over 300,000 Enclave 2009-14 models over fears the ignition switches can malfunction. Drivers bumping ignition switches with their knees or being pulled down by the weight of a key ring can inadvertently turn the vehicles off.
Injury victims report having their vehicles lose power on the road after the ignition switch was accidently moved into the “off” position. Without power to the engine the steering, brakes, and airbags are no longer functioning and the driver is at the mercy of the out-of-control vehicle.
Why did GM delay the ignition switch recall?
Internal company emails show that GM may have known for years about the risks associated with its ignition switches’ inability to safely hold position. Media reports state that GM knew about the problems with its ignition switches but did not want to pay the $0.90 per vehicle it would cost to address the issue.
Even after the recall was ordered internally by GM, the automaker waited two months to alert the NHTSA about the safety issues of its faulty ignition switches. Email exchanges between GM executives and its parts supplier show that GM was attempting to stockpile replacement switches before it issued the nationwide recall.
Auto parts makers are required to alert federal authorities of safety issues related to their products within five business days. GM failed to meet this five-day deadline.
GM compensation fund for victims
In anticipation potential payouts to injured victims of defective ignition switches, GM has established a $400 million fund to compensate those who were hurt by its defective ignition switches. GM is facing approximately 2,500 claims and the number is expected to rise. The deadline to file a compensation claim under the GM program is January 31st, 2015. You may be able to file a separate claim through an attorney, but it is recommended to contact an attorney in advance of the GM deadline.
The personal injury and product liability attorneys at the Cochran Firm’s Washington, D.C. office are currently investigating claims of injuries sustained because of these faulty GM ignition switches. If you or someone you know was hurt while driving a 2008-2013 Buick Enclave then you may be eligible for compensation through the GM victim’s fund. Because of the strict time constraints we ask that you please contact us at your earliest convenience at 202-682-5800 or fill out a contact form on our website. Our case evaluations are free, fast, and confidential so please let us help you preserve your rights and get the compensation you deserve.