Last year, General Motors recalled 2.6 million of its Chevrolet Cobalts. According to CBS News, the manufacturer had been aware of issues with defective ignition switches for more than 10 years. Recently, the company again recalled the vehicles, citing the 2010 models and issues with wiring related to airbags.
CBS News reports that the faulty switches in the Cobalts led to accidents that killed at least 124 people and injured 274 more. GM set up a fund to compensate those affected by the issue, offering $1 million or more to each of the victims' families.
Unfortunately, these issues are common examples of the automotive defects that can seriously injure and kill consumers. When a vehicle or its parts do not uphold the minimum requirements set forth by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations, a vehicle recall may be issued.
Some example of safety-related defects that could be present in a vehicle include the following:
- Malfunctioning safety belts or buckles on a child's seat
- Issues with wiring, fuel systems or steering, which can lead to a loss of control or even vehicle fires
- An accelerator control that sticks or is broken
- Wheels on a vehicle that are especially susceptible to breaks or cracks
- Air bags that do not deploy the way they should or that deploy unnecessarily
Anytime a consumer suspects that a vehicle or its parts is defective, he or she should alert the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA notes that it will compile reports of suspected defects and issue a recall if enough complaints are registered.