The problems for General Motors are far from over. Faulty ignition switches and defective airbags aren’t the only issues. Power steering defects in Saturn Ions are another problem that GM knew about, yet waited years before initiating a recall.
But it’s not just a delayed response from GM at the heart of the matter. Federal regulators, who can also demand a recall, weren’t in a hurry either. This is despite receiving thousands of complaints from customers. In fact, they started as long ago as June 2004. And in May 2007, they received the first complaint of an injury.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated the power steering problems on model years 2004 through 2007. They found 12 crashes and 2 injuries linked to this defect. Yet a recall didn’t happen until more than two years later (March 31, 2014).
Lawmakers and safety advocates have criticized the delayed response from GM and NHTSA with regard to the faulty ignition switches. In this case they knew about problems for more than a decade. So far, this defect is to blame for 13 deaths. But some believe those numbers could increase as the public learns more.
The Saturn Ion wasn’t the only model involved in the recall for faulty power steering. Some older models were included — such as Pontiac G6s, Chevy Malibus and Saturn Auras. The problem was the power steering could fail. When this happens, it can cause a driver to lose control of the car and crash.
GM has since admitted they could have done more to resolve the steering issue. But it seems federal regulators could say the same thing.
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in a GM car (or any other vehicle), talk to an attorney. It could lead to the filing of a claim against the automaker. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates immediately at (800) 550-0000.