General Motors Canada is in the crosshairs of a lawsuit from the parents of an Ontario man who lost his life while behind the wheel of a 2006 Saturn Ion. The parents of the accident victim are taking part in a national class action suit over malfunctioning parts and systems. They contend that their son’s airbag did not inflate on impact, leading to his death in a head-on collision in 2012. GM recently ordered worldwide recalls regarding faulty ignition switches and power steering defects in several models, including the Ion.
The family said that they were notified of the automaker’s recall action 18 months after their 22-year-old son was killed in a crash possibly related to the defective parts. The lawsuit, which was not recognized as a class action as of April, has yet to face a challenge to its claims in court. However, the suit is only one of many filed worldwide after the recall announcement and was the third in Canada alone. Some 235,000 of the recall’s 1.6 million vehicles were sold in Canada.
The massive recall also prompted the U.S. Congress to get involved, ordering an investigation of how General Motors handled reports that certain parts and systems in its vehicles were reported to be failing. In March, suits were filed in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan by one firm that accused the automaker of misleading customers about what safety problems GM knew about and when the company knew it.
A car accident due to failing safety equipment may result in a lawsuit to compensate families and loved ones of the victims for their losses. Proving liability in an auto accident is an important step to resolving these legal claims.
Source: The Huffington Post Canada, “GM Canada Sued: Automaker Recalled Car 18 Months After Fatal Crash“, April 11, 2014