General Motors is still reportedly dealing with the poor craftsmanship that ostensibly lead to its need for bankruptcy protection. A recent USA Today report indicated that GM knew about a defect that affected Chevy Cobalts built between 2005 and 2007 as well as Pontiac G5s.
Now, the automaker is issuing further apologies for the slow recall as it prepares to include more than 600,000 additional vehicles to its current recall.
USA Today reports that four additional models could be susceptible to the ignition switch problem that could disable the vehicle while it is in motion. The Chervolet HHR, the former Saturn’s Ion and Sky models and Pontiac’s Solstice were added to the list of cars to be recalled. Overall, the recall will extend to more than 1.3 million cars, and GM has linked additional deaths to the problem. It now reports that 13 people have lost their lives due to the issue.
The recall, while important for consumer safety, creates other potential problems for the automaker. It suggests that the automaker failed in its duty to address defects that could put consumers at risk. GM reportedly settled a lawsuit brought by the estate of a driver killed by one of the defective vehicles, but there could be other crashes (and subsequent lawsuits) since many Cobalts and G5s are in second hand markets where recall notices may not be sent.
Nevertheless, consumers may seek money damages if they are injured in a car that has defects that have not been addressed. It remains to be seen whether future lawsuits will be filed stemming from the Cobalt and G5 defects.
Source: USA Today.com “GM adds four models to recall, doubles deaths to 13,” James R. Healey and Fred Meier, Feb. 19, 2014