As many Montana readers of this blog are aware, General Motors has recalled approximately 2.6 million vehicles due to a potentially fatal ignition switch defect. Many of the owners of these vehicles have already begun to have the problem corrected for free at a GM dealership. However, experts are predicting that hundreds of thousands of these defective and dangerous automobiles will never be repaired. This is dangerous — not just for the drivers who do not get their vehicles repaired but for everyone else they share the road with.
Experts believe that one-third of recalled automobiles are never brought in by owners for repairs. There are numerous explanations why an individual would not get his or her car repaired for free. Ignoring dealership mail because it looks like junk mail, not having an extra car to drive while the repair is being made or simply not believing the alleged defect is that dangerous are just some of the reasons.
Other problems specifically associated with the recent GM recall include the fact that a lot of the recalled cars may belong to owners who bought them used. This will make it hard for the automaker to get in contact with them to offer the free defect fix. Another problem is that some GM vehicle owners do not know they can take their car to any dealership, regardless of where they purchased it.
General Motors, however, has forecasted that it will repair 85 percent of its recalled vehicles within two years. However, even if this prediction is true, that means 15 percent of 2.6 million cars will still be defective and in danger of turning off while driving, causing a potentially fatal car accident. Combine this with the fact that the GM defect also disables the airbag in the vehicle and you have an extremely dangerous situation.
Some say that government vehicle inspections and websites like CarFax can help the situation. CarFax, for example, strives to offer an accurate service on the internet that allows owners to search their car’s vehicle identification number to see if any unfixed defects are present in the automobile.
Those who have been hurt in car accident caused by a defective automobile can seek financial restitution for their injuries in civil court. Such claims may involve multiple defendants, such as the car manufacturer in addition to the individual who is at fault for causing the collision to occur. In many of the pending GM lawsuits, however, litigants claim that the GM defect itself disabled the controls of their vehicle and caused the car accident.
Source: 8KPAX, “Many recalled GM cars won’t be repaired” Chris Isidore, Apr. 21, 2014