Consumers should act promptly in the event of a product recall

Lawmakers are investigating why it took General Motors more than a decade to recall vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The Houston Chronicle recently reported that a Houston area woman has filed a lawsuit against GM for serious personal injuries she sustained while driving a 2007 Pontiac whose airbags failed to deploy. The suit alleges that a faulty ignition switch caused the car to lose control and, upon impact, prevented the airbags from deploying. The injured woman received a letter from GM, approximately two months after the accident, which notified her of the ignition switch recall and the importance of bringing the vehicle in for repair.

The consequences of a defective motor vehicle often range from serious injury to death. The Washington Post notes that GM has admitted that several deaths are linked to the failure of airbags to deploy on car models being recalled. Data referenced in a New York Times article suggests that over 300 people may have died after air bags failed to deploy on two recalled GM models.

Untold numbers of injuries and deaths occur each year in Texas and nationally due to motor vehicles and other products which are defective and unsafe. Under Texas products liability law, manufacturers, distributors and sellers have a duty to ensure that their products are reasonably safe for consumer use.

As to motor vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to require manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects. The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety defines "motor vehicle safety" as the performance of motor vehicle equipment in a way which protects members of the public against an unreasonable risk of accidents due to design or construction defects and "against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident."

Sometimes recalls are made in a timely fashion. Sometimes, they are not. As to GM and the defective ignition switch, one of the key criticisms made against GM is that it failed to act, for over a decade, in remedying the ignition switch defect after it became aware of the problem.

Actions you can take to avoid injury by unsafe products

You can become knowledgeable about current recalls by going to www.recalls.gov. This web site is a comprehensive one-stop resource about recalls ranging from motor vehicles and boats to household goods and medicines. It contains links to such agencies as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.

Recalls are issued for a reason. Their intent is to keep you safe. Research data compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute reveals that the risks posed by a defective motor vehicle decrease significantly once the defect has been identified and the recall is issued. The bottom line is that if you receive a recall notice, take the recommended action promptly. Safety precautions are something that should not be put off.

Bringing an action in Texas for injuries due to defective products

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective product, whether a motor vehicle or a common household item, you need to contact an attorney who is experienced in products liability law. There are often technical issues to be researched and resolved. A knowledgeable products liability attorney can assist in investigating the nature of the defect and help you seek compensation for the injuries you have sustained as a result of a defective product. Please call us at 210-226-3777, toll free at 877-716-3777 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free initial consultation and case evaluation.