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General Motors recalls 1.6M cars due to defective ignition

Throughout the nation individuals rely upon motor vehicles as transportation. When purchasing a car, most consumers, including those who reside in New Jersey, assume that the vehicle will be free from defect. When it is not, in addition to having to deal with time consuming repairs, one may also be placed in danger. Owners of certain cars made by General Motors are dealing with this now.

Last month the carmaker recalled 1.6 million vehicles for issues with the ignition switch. A problem could arise where the ignition key slips to "off" or "accessory" turning off vital safety equipment, such as the airbag, or even the engine. One situation in which this could happen is if a driver's key ring is too heavy.

This recall is not just a precaution. GM believes that the problem has resulted in the death of 12 people. It is easy to imagine how the engine suddenly shutting off or the lack of safety equipment could lead to an accident and injuries. Though unclear, it is possible that the families of those who died as a result of the product defect could file a products liability lawsuit against the carmaker.

According to its own records, the carmaker was aware that there was an issue with the ignition at least a decade ago. At that point it decided to not take any action regarding the matter. It now appears that an investigation into the matter has been launched by a federal agency.

Owners of the vehicles involved in the recall can have the defective part replaced at a GM dealer. In addition, the automaker recently announced it is offering a discount to current car owners on either new or leased vehicles. That discount is for $500.

Source: Time, “10 Things You Need to Know About the Massive GM Recall,” Doron Levin, March 13, 2014

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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