Over 60 Million Automobile Recalls Reported in 2014

December 22, 2014

As a result of Takata Corporation Air bag problems and General Motors Company defective ignition switches, over 60 million U.S. Automobile recalls were reported in 2014. The total to date is well over 60.5 million, making it the highest ever and twice the previous annual record of 30.8 million set in 2004, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This number will rise, even more, as recent recalls have been announce but not recorded, as of yet.

The number will continue to rise in the coming years, mainly, because of the Takata air-bag recalls and GM defective ignition switches. It is because of the slow response to GM’s ignition switch defect that the number will continue to rise. Therefore; the NHTSA has pressured automakers to recall cars more quickly when evidence of a flaw is detected. It is with the use of subpoena power and the threat of hefty fines that the NHTSA can pressure automakers to solve their recall problems more quickly.

GM recalled 27 million cars and trucks in the U.S. in 2014, a record for any single automaker. According to the NHTSA, GM issued 10 safety actions of more than 1 million vehicles each. Mainly, for their ignition switch problems; which led to, 42 deaths and 58 injuries. These recalls caused GM almost $2.47 billion through the first three quarters of 2014.

Takata air bag recalls, however, were made on 5.4 million vehicles, mostly from Honda Motors Co. Other recalls of more than 1 million vehicles included steering, cruise control, engines and seat belt problems. The investigation to flaws in the Takata airbags, were for about 8 million vehicles. It was detected that these airbags exploded with excessive force and spread shrapnel through the car during a crash. An estimated 4 people died as a result and over 100 were injured.

Therefore; it is imperative that every consumer is aware of recalls when they are attempting to purchase a new or used vehicle. There are certain sites one can visit to research whether a recall has been issued for the vehicle one is interested in, and dealership can also inform the consumer of safety issues with every vehicle on their inventory.

Call our experienced team of Washington, D.C. product liability lawyers at (202) 785-2244 and set up a free consultation so we can better explain how we may be able to help you and your family protected rights.

General Motors Ignition Switch Recall Victim’s Compensation Fund Cases to Be Heard in 2016

December 4, 2014

The General Motors Ignition Switch Recall Victim’s Compensation Fund was launched in August of 2014. To date, there have been over 2,200 personal injury claims filed, with 36 of those claims being wrongful death claims.

The GM recall fund was establish in order to address the 2.5 million claims that stem from defective ignition switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice , Saturn Ion, and Saturn Sky vehicles, that were manufactured between 2003-2007.

The defective ignition switches cause the vehicle to suddenly shut off if heavy key chains are used or if the ignition is jarred, which can occur when a vehicle is involved in an accident. The ultimate result of these defective ignition switches is that the driver may lose control of their vehicle or the GM airbags may fail to deploy, which in turn increases the risk of serious, if not fatal injury.

As of December 1, 2014, over 2,215 GM claims have been confirmed. The deadline to file these claims, with the GM Compensation fund, is on January 31, 2015, therefore; the number of claims is expected to rise in the next few weeks. GM recall injury lawsuits are also being filed against the auto maker in state and federal courts nationwide. Those claims also involved injuries associated defective ignition switches, but those are on other GM vehicles, which are therefore; not part of the GM compensation fund.

The claims that have been filed against General Motors, in federal court systems, have been consolidated for pretrial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and is part of a Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL. These cases will be heard by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of all the parties, witnesses and the courts.

The first cases are expected to go before Judge Jesse Furman in January of 2016. For more information, visit http://gmignitionmdl.com.

Cell Phone Use May Cause Brain Cancer

November 17, 2014

In October 2014, a Swedish research team published a medical journal “Pathopsysiology”. The study resulted in a heightening concern for the increase of brain cancer by longtime users of mobile phones and wireless phones.

The study was conducted using two control trials. One included patients from 1997 to 2003 and the second included patients from 2007 to 2009. Almost 1500 Patients with malignant brain tumors were used along with 3530 controls.

The research indicated that people who use mobile phones for over 25 years are three times more likely to develop Glioma, a deadly brain cancer, compared to those who use these electronic devices less than a year.

The risk for developing brain cancer increased, by 30 percent, from the exposure to cell phone radiation. The risk appears to start low, but it increases over time. The risk of Glioma brain cancer increased significantly for every 100 hours of mobile phone use and per year of latency. The largest risk of Glioma seemed to be in the temporal lobe of the brain. The participants of the study who began using mobile phones at a younger age, and those before the age of 20, seemed to be at a higher risk for Glioma than all other age group participants.

The World Health Organization (WHO), announced in 2011, that it would reclassify radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by wireless phones as a possible carcinogen. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also announced, early this year, that the will reassess the potential effects of radiation exposure from cell phones and mobile devices, as well. The FCC plans to look at the radiation exposure and determine how much is emitted by the devices and how those emissions affect humans, specifically, the human brain.

In the meantime, it is recommended that users of these devices try and reduce their risk of cancer by using headsets, speakerphones, holding the phone away from the body and text as often as possible.