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February 24, 2014 / Brian Bush

Chevy and Pontiac Compact Vehicles Recalled After 6 Deaths

General Motors, the maker of Chevrolet and Pontiac vehicles, has issued a recall of 778,562 of its 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt compact vehicles and 2007 Pontiac B5 compacts, according to reports. At least 22 accidents, and 6 deaths, have been attributed to faulty ignition switches in the Cobalt and G5, which have been shown to turn off suddenly if the ignition is jolted while driving.

In some cases, the ignition switch defect has prevented deployment of the airbags in the affected vehicles during front-end collisions. According to a report, GM acknowledged that these ignition switches may not have met specifications, and has issued the voluntary recall to address safety concerns. Owners of 2005-2007 Chevy Cobalts and 2007 Pontiac G5s who have yet to be contacted about the recall are warned not to use heavily loaded key-chains, as the extra weight may cause the ignition switch to shut off without warning. (See, report.)

In certain circumstances, a manufacturer, such as GM, can be strictly liable for manufacturing and selling a product with a defect in design that causes injury to the consumer (See, McCabe v. Am. Honda Motor Co., Inc. (2002) 100 Cal.App.4th 1111, 1120; Barker v. Lull Engineering Co. (1978) 20 Cal. 3d 413, 428. Strict liability means that the manufacturer can be liable to pay a consumer damages, even if they didn’t intend injury, or act negligently, in manufacturing their product.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defect in product design, whether or not it relates to an auto accident, please contact Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP for a confidential consultation concerning your legal rights and remedies.

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