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Did automaker know about the risk for a fatal car accident?

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New York readers may be well aware of the troubles surrounding the automaker General Motors and the higher risk of a fatal car accident in some of their cars. Recently, documentation has been revealed that the automaker did actually know that some cars had an easily fixable, yet very hazardous, defect. Certain models reportedly had a higher risk for a fatal car accident, yet the automaker did not move quickly to recall and fix the known issues.

Evidence exists that could prove that GM knew that there was a problem with the ignition switch, which could cause cars to lose power while in operation and thereby disable the airbags. In many situations, this could cause a serious accident or have fatal consequences. New York readers will note that these defects are under investigation by the Justice Department.

The models that had these known defects include the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion. General Motors has been accused of refusing to cooperate with inquiries into accidents and withholding information from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The accidents took place over several years and it is possible that there are hundreds or drivers who were put at risk for an accident because of GM's reluctance to acknowledge and handle this issue.

A driver should not be placed at a higher risk for a fatal car accident because of negligence of an automaker. This nationwide scandal could leave a devastating mark on a company that stands accused of knowingly putting consumers at risk. Those injured or killed because of these defects could very well be eligible for financial compensation from General Motors via the filing of a civil lawsuit.

Source: The New York Times, "Documents Show General Motors Kept Silent on Fatal Crashes", Rebecca R. Ruiz and Danielle Ivory, July 15, 2014

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