Ignition Defects and Loss of Power

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Car manufacturers have issued millions of automobile, SUV, and truck recalls due to ignition defects.  Ignition defects have led to vehicle ignitions turning from an “on” position to an “accessory” position while driving.  The accessory position is what most people use when they are listening to music while their car is parked, or when they want alternate power. When vehicles switch from an “on” to “accessory” position, they often experience a loss of power to the steering and power brakes. Safety systems such as frontal airbags are also often disabled.

General Motor’s recalls amounted to 26.9 million in the last two years. GM has recalled over 2.5 million of these vehicles based on ignition switch defects alone. Numerous deaths, catastrophic and serious injuries have been caused by these ignition defects. GM now admits that their defective ignition switch attributed to at least 57 deaths.  Despite knowing of the ignition problem for over a decade, GM just began the ignition defect recalls in 2014.

Chrysler and many other car manufacturers have had similar recalls due to ignition switch defects. If you suspect that your vehicle went from the “on” position to “accessory” position while you were driving, contributing to your automobile accident, you may have a cause of action for products liability against the auto manufacturer. No matter what make or model you may have owned, contact the Potts Law Firm for your free automobile defect consultation.

Common Damages
  • Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Internal injuries and bleeding
  • Facial fractures and scarring
  • Burns
  • Death to a loved one or family member.
Frequently Asked Questions
I was involved in an accident where my airbags did not deploy. Do I have an ignition defect case?

If you have been involved in a frontal collision where your airbags failed to deploy, you may have an ignition defect that you did not know about at the time.  Many times, a pothole, bump or evasive maneuver can result in the key going from the on position to the accessory position, thus disabling your airbags. If you’ve been in a frontal collision with serious damage to the front of your vehicle and your airbags did not deploy, it is very likely the result of an ignition defect or other airbag defect.

I was involved in an accident where I was at fault. Can I still file a products liability claim for my defective automobile?

Even if you caused a single car accident, like running off the road and hitting an object, your vehicle is supposed to protect you and your loved ones during a crash.  You can learn more about crash injuries and current research at https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/crash-injury-research. If you or a family member have been injured or killed by a defective vehicle, call us for a free consultation.

How long does an auto defect case take to complete?

Taking on large defendants in products liability cases is what we do at the Potts Law Firm. Any court case, whether filed in federal or state court, must get behind other cases that are already filed. Many auto defect cases take one or two years to resolve, but each lawsuit will have its own timeline. These product liability lawsuits are generally complicated and expensive cases to try. We often will attempt to resolve your case out of court prior to filing to avoid a lawsuit. But, if a settlement cannot be reached, we will proceed to a trial. We are trial attorneys.

What are vehicle recalls?

Recalls are either done voluntarily by the auto manufacturer or are specifically ordered by the Federal government. The Federal government regulates automobiles through several statutes, but primarily through the National Traffic and Motor Safety Vehicle Act. ( http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/pl/89/563.pdf ) Recalls usually identify the root cause of the problem that is a danger to the vehicle occupants or others. Recalls also identify a solution to fix whatever is wrong with the automobile or truck. Recalls can be safety related or not. The government agency that enforces this law is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). Anyone can check whether their vehicle has an active recall by visiting www.safercar.gov. Even if your vehicle doesn’t have a recall, it may still be dangerous and defective. Call us to find out.

Recalls are either done voluntarily by the auto manufacturer or are specifically ordered by the Federal government. The Federal government regulates automobiles through several statutes, but primarily through the National Traffic and Motor Safety Vehicle Act. ( http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/pl/89/563.pdf ) Recalls usually identify the root cause of the problem that is a danger to the vehicle occupants or others. Recalls also identify a solution to fix whatever is wrong with the automobile or truck. Recalls can be safety related or not. The government agency that enforces this law is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). Anyone can check whether their vehicle has an active recall by visiting www.safercar.gov. Even if your vehicle doesn’t have a recall, it may still be dangerous and defective. Call us to find out.

What do I have to prove in my auto defect case?

The specific requirements to prove a products liability case vary from state to state. Generally, a plaintiff must prove one of the following:

  • The vehicle or its specific part is unreasonably dangerous or does not meet reasonable consumer expectations
  • Such danger or defect caused, or contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The plaintiff was injured or killed in-part by the defect.

Most cases require expert testimony by engineers, doctors, and others to prove the case in court. At the Potts Law Firm, we work with these experts around the country on a daily basis.

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