I have lost count now of how many times GM has issued a recall and the total number of vehicles recalled in the past several months by GM; I know it is in the area of over 20 million vehicles. Tragically, years of delay in recalling cars over a faulty ignition switch have been solidly linked to the deaths of 13 people so far. Faulty ignitions, faulty power steering, bad keys and, now….a website.
They want us to know they are working on it. It is not quite working correctly. Their are glitches. They have ordered the parts and hope to have the”Recall Website: up and operational before the recalled vehicles are. And, at their “FastLane” website, they want us to know they are approaching the building and recall of vehicles completely different. No longer will GM wait for a tragedy and a plaintiff’s attorney to uncover the truth about their failure to be honest, they are undergoing a process of intervention. A recent example:
“A couple of customers – out of millions who owned these specific vehicles – experienced an issue and let us know. We tested it and decided despite the rarity of the occurrence, it still warranted a recall because of a possible safety defect.”
In fact, no more waiting for expert engineers hired by plaintiff attorneys to discover they knew for years about a dangerous problem:
“Similarly, in a recent full-size crossover recall, we noticed the flexible steel cable connecting the seat belt to the vehicle could fatigue and separate over time because of certain movement in the seat. We acted now based on a small number of warranty claims instead of waiting for more long-term data. These examples of quick investigation and action are a direct result of the changes we are making within our engineering organization.”
All kidding aside. I hope that GM and other vehicle makers will take greater care in examining safety in their design and manufacture and not allow their bottom line profits control when the alert the public of problems.
I also hope that the next time GM or another Big Corporation tries to promote tort reform we will all remember that it was a trial attorney, his expert and the tragic sacrifice of his client that may have protected dozens, or hundreds of other innocent people by discovering a problem GM couldn’t…or wouldn’t.