As GM recall cases mount and change, attorneys for General Motors announced this week that the car maker will pay injury claims for people who incurred medical expenses within 48 hours of having been injured by cars which had a defective ignition switch. The defective switch can inadvertently cut out and lead to a loss of power, which can then lead to the failure of power steering and brakes, which can in turn lead to an accident made worse by the failure of airbags, which can also occur because of the loss of power.
The 48-hour treatment limit alters the original GM settlement agreement announced on June 30, 2014. At that time, inclusion in the GM settlement required, at a minimum, that a person had to have visited the ER or suffered hospitalization immediately following the failure of an airbag to deploy because of a defective ignition switch.
GM Cars in the Settlement
GM announced that anyone injured by, or in, the following cars will be considered for inclusion in the settlement.
Production Part Vehicles (Ignition Switch Recall Repair was not Performed Prior to Accident):
• Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2005-2007)
• Chevrolet HHR (Model Years 2006-2007)
• Daewoo G2X (Model Year 2007)
• Opel/Vauxhall GT (Model Year 2007)
• Pontiac G4 (Model Years 2005-2006)
• Pontiac G5 (Model Year 2007)
• Pontiac Pursuit (Model Years 2005-2006)
• Pontiac Solstice (Model Years 2006-2007)
• Saturn Ion (Model Years 2003-2007)
• Saturn Sky (Model Year 2007)
Service Part Vehicles (Ignition Switch was Replaced by a Dealer or Independent Service Center with an Ignition Switch bearing Part Number 10392423):
• Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2008-2010)
• Chevrolet HHR (Model Years 2008-2011)
• Daewoo G2X (Model Years 2008-2009)
• Opel/Vauxhall GT (Model Years 2008-2010)
• Pontiac G5 (Model Years 2008-2010)
• Pontiac Solstice (Model Years 2008-2010)
• Saturn Sky (Model Years 2008-2010)
The accident must have occurred prior to December 31, 2014.
Recalled Cars not in the Settlement
Law firms across the country, including Matthews & Associates in Houston, Texas, are accepting cases involving these recalled cars, but the Matthews firm is also evaluating several other GM recall accident claims concerning cars not listed as part of the settlement.
“We’ve received several calls and emails from people across the country injured in recalled GM cars not listed on the initial protocol for settlements,“ said Matthews attorney Conrad Adams. “We are evaluating hundreds of such cases on a case-by-case basis, and the list is growing by the day.”
GM Recall Cases Mount and Change
One large factor which makes some cases easier to evaluate than others is the presence of a black box, or an “Event Data Recorder” in a wrecked vehicle. Any person injured in or by a GM is urged to get the black box report, if possible, if the car was equipped with one. The list of vehicles containing an event data recorder is extensive:
Black Box/Event Data Recorder Supported Vehicles (pdf)
Pedestrians, Passengers, and Injured Others also Eligible
“It’s also important to remember that drivers and passengers of GM autos are not the only people eligible for participation in the settlement,” said Matthews & Associates attorney Lizy Santiago. “If you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian injured by a car that experienced the ignition switch problem, then you might also be entitled to compensation.”