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New details emerge from GM auto product recall

Americans love to drive. Wide paved roads and planned highway systems allow Kansas City residents to easily commute to work, visit family and friends and run errands. However, car defects unknown to drivers can make everyday driving dangerous or even deadly.

General Motors has recalled over 1.62 million Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles from model years 2003-2007. 1.37 million of those cars are registered in the United States. The recall is related to ignition switches that suddenly turn off engines and disabled power steering, power brakes and airbags. Now, new information has surfaced following the filing of GM's updated chronology of the recall process with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It turns out that GM may have known about problems with ignition switches as early as 2001, which is three years earlier then GM previously claimed to have been made aware of any problems. The faulty ignition switches have led to over 260 consumer complaints filed with the NHTSA, 31 accidents and 12 deaths.

An auto product recall may be necessary when a motor vehicle or some equipment related to the motor vehicle falls below a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or when there is a defect that impacts safety that occurs in a motor vehicle or its equipment. The federal agency sets minimum performance requirements in order to protect drivers and passengers from severe injury or death in the event of a collision. These safety standards apply to any motor vehicles manufactured in the United States and those that are shipped to the United States to be sold.

If a Kansas City resident is injured by a defective product, such as the faulty ignition switch, he or she may be able to recover damages by filing a civil product liability claim.

Source: The Car Connection, "Switchgate: GM knew about defects in 2001, offers owners free loaner car & $500 credit," Richard Read, Mar. 13, 2014

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