A recent post from the New York Times describes the problems associated with car companies that put their economic interests before the well-being of consumers.
General Motors has a long history of not properly informing consumers of defective parts. They were recently called before Congress to defend their actions. They have recently started a victims’ fund for those injured while using cars with defective parts. The article discusses the defective parts from older Chevrolet Cobalts that GM recalled in February and a more recent recall of Chevrolet Malibus that began on June 30.
However, a new problem has arisen because the car company is arguing that there is a distinct difference between the two recalls. As such, General Motors is trying to assert that the victims fund should apply towards the Chevrolet Malibu recalls, but should not include recalls for the older Chevrolet Cobalts. This decision has enraged safety activists, especially after new information filed with regulators detailed further similarities between the two recalls. The problem with General Motors has involved defective ignition switches that are at prone at times to stop the car or deactivate the airbags, meaning that drivers and passengers are at risk to suffer grave injuries if they are involved in car accidents. Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from consumers of GM cars date back to 1997. While the CEO of General Motors has tried to distinguish between the two recalls and the company’s rationale to have a victim’s fund for only one recall, Congress has continued to question the company. Rosemary Shahan, the president of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, an advocacy group, stated that there was little difference between the two recalls, and that the basic problem for the automaker is that they produce vehicles that are prone to stop while in traffic.
The Statute of Limitations
The primary lesson to take from the situation with General Motors is that whenever you believe that an accident involves defective parts, your primary recourse should not be to turn towards the car company, but rather to an attorney. As the situation with General Motors demonstrates, automakers do what is in their best interests, even when that is antithetical to the interests of consumers. Due to the fact that the problems with the cars began in 1997, you may have questions regarding the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time in which the state or federal government permits a party to bring a claim regarding a legal matter. If you do not file a claim within this time period, it is exceedingly difficult to bring forward a legal claim. In the state of Michigan, the statute of limitations is generally three years for auto accidents. However, it is always advisable to speak with an attorney because there may be other claims present that you did not consider or mitigating circumstances that may override the statute of limitations.
If you have questions regarding auto accidents in the state of Michigan, you should contact the Clark Law Office. We are prepared to help you understand your options and can assist you in securing the compensation you deserve.