GM Compensates Victim of Ignition Switch Defect

Rob Ammons successfully secured compensation for the mother of a 24-year-old Maine man who suffered fatal injuries when the airbag in a 2001 Cadillac DeVille in which he was the front passenger failed to deploy and offer him the occupant protection needed to save his life in a frontal crash.

wrecked car

The crash involved a frontal collision of the type that routinely triggers intended airbag deployment. According to Ammons, however, a defective ignition switch in the DeVille had come out of its proper “run” position, preventing the airbag from deploying. Ammons claimed that the ignition switch with which many DeVilles and a number of other GM vehicles are equipped has become the subject of an official defect investigation. Ammons shared that this particular ignition switch was shutting off the engine during driving and preventing the airbags from inflating. GM was determined to have had knowledge of the defect for over a decade prior to a recall being declared in February of 2014.

The initial recall involved 600,000 small cars and was expanded in the four months that followed until the number of recalled cars reached some 29 million in North America. The technical cause of the unintended ignition shut-off was found to be the insufficiency of a component referred to as the “switch detent plunger,” the purpose of which was to prevent accidental rotation of the ignition switch by providing mechanical resistance.

The young Maine man was transported urgently from the crash scene to the hospital where it was determined that he had suffered skull fractures and a traumatic brain injury. He sadly died four days later, leaving his grieving mother behind.

The Ammons Law Firm has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection and product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, and plant explosions.