On Friday, GM added 971,000 vehicles to their already extensive list of recalled vehicles affected by faulty ignition switches.

These faulty ignition switches suddenly shut off cars, disabling the brakes, power steering and air bags. Surely you can imagine how dangerous this can be. You’re cruising down the highway and all of the sudden your car turns off and you have no power steering or brakes and any impact you encounter with another car or an object won’t be softened by your disabled air bag. The result has been at least 13 deaths and many other reported injuries.

The death numbers may not have been so high if GM hadn’t waited a decade to make the recall.

But, why did GM wait so long?

According to many people familiar with the automaker, it was a result of the corporate culture and reluctancy to pass along bad news up the chain.

“It’s pretty clear that somebody somewhere was being penny-wise and pound-foolish,” said Marina Whitman, a professor at the University of Michigan and a former economist at GM. “It’s hard to find an explanation for why somebody didn’t do something about something that was known for a good decade. And, for that matter, why [federal regulators] didn’t wake up sooner.”

At the time, with GM struggling to cut costs and enhance its brand, a recall of a popular car would have been an awful setback. However, now the inability to get the recall out at the proper time is going to likely cost them millions and millions of dollars in lawsuits.

At Darrell Castle & Associates, our experienced car accident attorneys have handled cases in Memphis for decades. Seeing the effects of car accidents on individuals and families really fuels our fire to make sure the victims are properly compensated for their medical bills, car damage, pain, suffering, lost wages and more.

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you should always seek medical attention before you do anything else. Even if you think your pain is too minor, it’s not uncommon to see untreated back or neck pain from an accident turn into chronic neck or back pain.

After you’ve been checked out, if the accident wasn’t your fault, seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney.

Your injury could have been the fault of the driver of another vehicle or you could have been in a single car accident and your airbag didn’t deploy. Anything could happen.

However, if you’re going to place blame on a defective car product, such as a faulty air bag, then it’s important to note that your injury needs to be a catastrophic one to have a good case. Car companies don’t take lawsuits lightly and will throw a lot of money out to litigate them. For the risk to be worth the reward, the unfortunate outcome of the car accident needs to be pretty severe.

If this is you, contact us today by filling out the “Get in Touch” form below or by calling us at (901) 327-1212 and one of our experienced Memphis personal injury attorneys will be ready to speak with you about your situation, free of charge.

I also advise you to keep our Car Accident Checklist handy so you’ll be informed on what to do at the scene of a car accident. You can download it here on our website.