Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
After the General Motors faulty ignition switch recall and subsequent investigations by the Department of Justice, National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and U.S. Senate’s Consumer Protection Subcommittee, I followed these events and blogged about consumer concerns related to the delayed recall. During the Senate Committee hearings, GM was called to task for seemingly ignoring consumer safety for a number of years. Last week, GM agreed to pay a $35 million fine for its delay in reporting the ignition switch defect.
In response to continuing criticism of General Motors for its numerous incidents in mishandling its faulty ignition switch recall, GM has initiated a website designed to update consumers in understanding the ignition recall and what steps consumers should follow to determine whether their vehicle is included and the status of the recall kit production schedule. The GM site includes a three-point checklist for owners of the affected vehicles:
- “Remove everything from your key ring except your car key (including your key fob).
- Before exiting the vehicle, make sure it is in “Park” or in the case of a manual transmission, put it into reverse gear and set the parking break (sic).
- Communicate with your local GM Dealer as replacement parts become available.”
While consumers may find useful information in identifying questions related to the ignition recall, they should also be aware that much of the other information on the GM site is the company position and defense in response to others’ statements and reports that are critical of General Motors. According to GM CEO Mary Barra, “GM’s ultimate goal is to create an exemplary process and produce the safest cars for our customers – they deserve no less.” Let’s hope they quickly attain their stated goal.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year” (2011). Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100” lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) — national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.