In our last post, we highlighted the initiation of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal investigation into General Motors, stemming from the mass recall of several vehicles due to problems with their ignition switches. Essentially, the ignition could be inadvertently turned from “run” to “accessory,” thus causing a driver to potentially lose control of the vehicle.
Federal prosecutors ostensibly want to know what GM executives knew about the problem and whether they attempted to conceal the problem. In dealing with the recall issue, GM is reportedly cooperating with the federal government as it does an extensive review of GM’s policies. A new executive has been named to address the issue.
GM has recently issued another recall for many of its SUVs. This one will cover more than 1.1 million vehicles built between 2008 and 2013, including the Buick Enclave, the GMC Arcadia, the Chevy Traverse and the Saturn Outlook. The problem is with an airbag warning light that may prevent several airbags within the vehicle from deploying.
As we have said before, recalls are important because manufacturers have a continuing duty to correct defects that arise with their products. If an accident occurs because of the defect, and consumers are harmed, the manufacturer could be held liable. As such, a recall puts consumers on notice that the manufacturer knows about the problem and gives consumers an opportunity to correct the defect.
It remains to be seen whether this recall will result in another federal investigation, but it may also lead to more lawsuits.
Source: ABC News.com “Another GM recall: 1.18 million SUVs for airbag issue,” Dee-Ann Durbin, Mar. 17, 2014