The General Motors (GM) website may give misleading information to consumers looking up vehicles to see if they are affected by the automaker's various recalls, according to federal regulators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warned vehicle owners late Friday that it had "determined that owners of some recalled GM vehicles are receiving incorrect and misleading results" when using the vehicle identification number (VIN) look-up system on the automaker's website.
Apparently, a vehicle may not be listed as included in an active recall if the repair parts are not yet available. This can present a dangerous situation for a person who has a vehicle that is actually a part of a current recall. Though the part may not be available – yet – the vehicle may still be affected by a defective part that could cause or contribute to serious injuries in the event of a collision.
NHTSA is urging GM vehicle owners to double-check their VINs even if they already entered them and were told they were not part of an active recall. A GM spokesperson said that the automaker is addressing the issue on their website.
This is the latest development in a serious problem that has led to the recall of more than 25 million GM vehicles in the United States alone. The automaker first recalled some 2.6 million vehicles in February and March of this year in relation to an ignition switch defect that could cause the key to switch to the "off" position while the vehicle was in use. This would disable the airbags, increasing the risk of injury in the event of an accident. GM has linked 13 deaths to the defect, but trial attorneys for plaintiffs claim many more deaths have been caused by the ignition switch problem.
GM is under fire for failing to act when internal documents show that the ignition switch problem was first noticed in 2001. The automaker has faced considerable fines as a result and has also changed its recall policies, resulting in a total of 60 recalls affecting 25.48 vehicles in the U.S. One such recall, which was announced on June 29, included another 8.2 million vehicles for ignition switch defects similar to the ones affecting the 2.6 million vehicles recalled earlier in the year. In addition to these ignition switch recalls, the company has recalled vehicles for airbag, seatbelt, front seat, power steering, power door lock and window switches.
If you drive a vehicle manufactured by General Motors, you can visit the NHTSA website to see if your vehicle is affected by any of the recalls. You should consider taking this step even if you already visited the GM website and were told that your vehicle was not included in an active recall based on the site's VIN look-up tool.
Ready to discuss a case involving a defective auto part or other type of defective or dangerous product? Automakers and other manufacturers may be held strictly liable for injuries caused by their products, but it takes an aggressive and experienced legal team to hold these large corporations accountable. Fortunately, our firm is comprised of hard-hitting trial attorneys who are not afraid of going up against the most formidable opponents inside and outside of the courtroom as we pursue justice on our clients' behalf.
The product liability attorneys at The Daspit Law Firm can offer insight as it applies to your particular situation. We are committed to protecting consumers who have been injured as a result of negligent and wrongful conduct on the part of manufacturers across the U.S. and worldwide. For a free consultation and case review, call a Houston personal injury attorney at our offices. We are here to help.