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Parents Allege Defective Grand Prix Airbag Caused Son’s Death

The parents of a Pennsylvania man who died when the driver side airbag inside his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix failed to deploy in a fiery crash are suing General Motors and the dealership where the car was purchased. Plaintiffs Samuel and Catherine Gabriele filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas July 31, alleging GM and Faulkner Buick GMC of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, sold their son Stephen Gabriele a car with a defective airbag system. According to the Penn Record, the lawsuit states that Stephen Gabriele was driving his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix south on West Philadelphia Ave. in ... Read More

GM recalls 1 Million Pickups, SUVs for Power Steering Defect

General Motors (GM) is recalling more than one million full-size pickup trucks and SUVs to correct a safety defect that could cause the vehicles to temporarily lose electric power steering, increasing the risk of a crash. GM said the safety recall affects certain 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickups, Tahoe and Suburban SUVs, GMC Sierra 1500 and Yukon SUVs, and Cadillac Escalades. The automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the defect affects the electric power steering. “If (electric power steering) is lost and then suddenly returns, the driver may have difficulty steering the vehicle, especially at low ... Read More

Nissan Recalls Vehicles For Ignition Switch Defect

Nissan is recalling more than 165,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to repair an ignition switch problem that could turn off the engine while the vehicle is in motion, resulting in the risk of a crash and deactivating the airbags. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to announce a recall of the Nissan vehicles, the Japanese automaker confirmed the recall to Consumer Reports. Canada’s transportation regulatory agency, Transport Canada, announced the Nissan recall on Aug. 22, saying that the problem stems from a spring in the ignition assembly that could wear out over time and ... Read More

GM Ignition Switch Bellwether Trial Begins

A fourth bellwether trial that will help determine the course of litigation for hundreds of lawsuits seeking damages from General Motors (GM) allegedly caused by defective ignition switches opened Monday, July 10, in New York. In the newest trial, plaintiff Dennis Ward claims the ignition defect that GM concealed for years caused his Chevrolet HHR to crash in Tucson, Arizona. He alleges the March 2014 crash left him with a permanent leg injury. According to the New York Law Journal, Mr. Ward claims in court documents that he was traveling on South Kolb Rd. in Tucson when he noticed a ... Read More

All Top Three Automakers Now Under U.S. Regulatory Observation

Volkswagen’s $4.3 billion settlement of criminal and civil penalties resulting from its emissions fraud subjects the German automaker to three years of probation and daily regulatory scrutiny. Now, with the VW deal, the world’s top three automakers are under close federal oversight to ensure their compliance with auto rules and regulations. On April 21, federal judge Sean Cox in Michigan approved a $4.3 billion criminal and civil settlement reached between the U.S. government and Volkswagen six weeks prior. Part of that deal puts the automaker under the watchful eye of an independent, court-approved monitor. Toyota, the world’s leading auto manufacturer, ... Read More

New Rule Shields Auto Industry Whistleblowers From Retaliation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which took effect Dec. 14. Enacted in July 2012, MAP-21 protects employees of automobile manufacturers, auto part suppliers, and car dealerships who have been terminated or otherwise retaliated against for voicing concerns to their employer or to federal regulators over auto defects or violations of motor vehicle safety standards. In March, OSHA published an interim final rule and opened it to public comment. It met little resistance. The agency ... Read More

Takata airbag recall to expand by 4.4 million vehicles; 402K also added by Nissan

The Takata airbag recall continues to rocket through this year with approximately 4.4 million U.S. vehicles to be added by seven different automakers, as well another 402K vehicles added separately by Nissan. Defective Takata airbags have been named responsible for the deaths of 10 people in the U.S. and 11 worldwide. “These vehicles are equipped with certain airbag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal airbag modules and used as original equipment or replacement equipment,” the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in its Takata airbag recall summary. “These inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring ... Read More

GM announces recall notification smartphone apps; aims to make drivers more aware of recalls

The technological advances made in the last decade have given the world the ability to retrieve information in mere seconds, whether it be the weather forecast or social media. Unfortunately, “snail mail” auto recalls have not received the same upgrade, putting many drivers at risk of unknowingly operating dangerous vehicles. However, General Motors (GM) has opted to break the mold by finally creating new smartphone apps with the ability to detect if the user’s vehicle is under recall. The new line of brand-specific smartphone apps is set to replace the automaker’s previous creation – the OnStar RemoteLink app, which served more ... Read More

Justice Department Appoints Kenneth Feinberg To Administer New Terrorism Victim Fund

The U.S. Justice Department has appointed lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, often referred to as the “compensation fund czar,” to administer a new fund established by Congress to help victims of state-sponsored terrorism. The “United States Victims of State Sponsors of Terrorism Fund” will provide significant relief for victims of state-sponsored terrorist attacks, such as the 1998 American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the October 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, and possibly the Americans taken hostage from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. In the past, Mr. Feinberg has administered compensation funds for the victims of ... Read More

GM Settles Third Ignition Switch Bellwether Case Ahead of Trial

General Motors (GM) has settled the third of six lawsuits picked to be tried as bellwether cases for deaths and injuries stemming from its defective ignition switches, which put millions of its vehicles at risk of suddenly losing power and crashing without airbag protection. GM’s lawyers filed a letter in federal court in Manhattan Thursday saying it had entered into a confidential settlement with plaintiff Nadia Yingling, who sued the automaker in 2013 after her husband James was killed when his 2006 Saturn Ion lost power and crashed on a Pennsylvania highway. Ms. Yingling’s case had been set to go ... Read More