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Is the recall enough? Taking another look at the G.M. debacle

The product recall involving 2.6 million General Motors vehicles with an ignition switch defect continues to be a subject of controversy -- and tragedy.

By one estimate, there are still hundreds of thousands of GM cars subject to the recall on the road. The cars have a potentially faulty ignition switch that could shut off during operation. The sudden loss of power to the brakes, steering and air bags could present a serious danger of losing control of the vehicle.

G.M. has opposed efforts to remove those vehicles from operation. At a congressional hearing several months ago, G.M.'s chief executive claimed that the vehicles were safe to drive, provided that all objects are removed from the key chain, as a safeguard against jostling the switch. However, a recent tragedy involving one of those recalled vehicles suggests that more immediate action may be necessary.

Specifically, a young driver in one of the G.M. vehicles subject to the recall may have experienced a sudden power loss. Authorities are still investigating the potential causes for why the driver lost control of her vehicle. Unfortunately, the driver did not survive the impact of the crash.

Notably, the driver was even aware of the defect, as her father had warned her about the product recall and sent her an article about it. However, a product defect in an automobile can present a significant danger, and a surprise while traveling at high speeds may be a recipe for an accident -- even when drivers have received advance warning of the defect.

When a defective product has caused injury, an attorney that focuses on product liability and personal injury lawsuits may be able to help start the wheels of justice rolling.

Source: Bloomberg, "The Most Costly Problem for GM's Recall: Young Victims," Kyle Stock, Oct. 6, 2014

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