According to multiple news outlets, the United States Justice Department is considering charging General Motors with wire fraud after the auto manufacturer failed to recall vehicles that had a faulty ignition switch installed. The faulty switches led to hundreds of car accidents that have killed 111 people and injured over 200 so far.
The defective ignition switches can slip out of the “run” position, cutting off electrical power to the engine and disabling safety features such as power brakes and airbags. GM has since issued a recall for the vehicles, but an independent investigation in 2014 found that they had failed to recall the vehicles for nearly 10 years after evidence of the problem was brought to their attention. If the Justice Department prosecutes, their argument will likely be that GM was defrauding its customers by allowing them to continue driving unsafe vehicles.
By failing to recall vehicles or publish any reports of their safety issues, GM has also opened itself up to thousands of claims from motorists who may have gotten in a crash due to the defective ignition switches.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident case involving a GM vehicle, you should visit General Motors’ Ignition Recall website and see if any of the cars involved in the accident were affected by the recall. If one of the cars was recalled, or if you’re not sure whether one of the cars was recalled, contact the car accident lawyers at Long & Long to see if you have a case.