On March 4, 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a letter to GM with 107 questions about GM's February 7, 2014 recall of more than 600,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles. The recall was announced after it was determined that the vehicles contained a defect in which the ignition switch could inadvertently be moved from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position. That occurrence could result in a loss of power to the vehicle.
“In some cases, the timing of the ignition switch movement relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event may result in the airbags not deploying,” the letter stated.
Furthermore, the NHTSA noted, on February 25, 2014, that GM added more vehicles to the recall list due to the same safety defect. The approximately 750,000 additional vehicles - for a total of almost 1.4 million - included Chevrolet HHR, and Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ions and Saturn Sky vehicles. Following notification of the recalls, the NHTSA opened a Timeliness Query, to investigate whether GM adequately responded to concerns about defects in its vehicles.
READ MORE AIRBAG INJURIES LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have been filed against GM by the family members of those who have died in car accidents where the airbag failed to deploy. Those include a lawsuit by Amber Rose’s family, which was settled for a confidential amount, and a lawsuit by the family of Brooke Melton. That lawsuit was also settled for a confidential amount, according to USA Today (2/19/14).
GM has until April 3, 2014 to respond to the letter.