Design Defect

The Supreme Court of Missouri ruled Tuesday, January 26 that the cases of vehicle owners who filed a lawsuit against Detroit, Michigan-based automaker General Motors Co. over their faulty ignition switches that caused at least 169 deaths will be consolidated and will all be tried in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, affirming the order of the trial court.

GM made an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court to have the cases tried separately, which was negated by the high court.

GM was caught under fire for allegedly not issuing a recall of at least 2.6 million of its vehicles which included the Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Saturn models, among others, 10 years prior to the February 2014 recall. The largest automaker in the country is also receiving much criticism due to accusations that it did not do much in the way of repairing the affected vehicles that consumers already have under their possession.

Since the recodification of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act that tasked the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set out standardized safety requirements and to mandate recalls for vehicles with substandard quality, over 390 million buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, cars, not to mention 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats, among others, have been recalled to repair design defects.

Attorneys at the Abel Law Firm say many manufacturers issue voluntary recalls of their products, while others had to be influenced by the agency to re-evaluate the condition of their merchandise. Others, however, like GM, had been embroiled in such controversy due to cover-ups and blatant denial of any wrongdoing on their part, until an investigation tells otherwise. GM was boiled deep in hot water because they allegedly, in the first place, did not federal regulators about their defective ignition switches, and therefore dealers and distributors did not know about the problem, thereby leading to hundreds of cases of automobile accidents for GM’s consumers.