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Mr. Padilla was named a Texas Super Lawyer (Rising Star)(2006) by Thompson Reuters as seen in Texas Monthly Magazine
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Mr. Padilla was named a Texas Super Lawyer (Rising Star)(2006) by Thompson Reuters as seen in Texas Monthly Magazine

GM Recalls Affect 30 Million Vehicles

General Motors Co. (GM) has been making headlines for recall issues over the last several years due to faulty ignition switches that have been linked to 124 fatalities. The defect causes the power to the engine to cut off unexpectedly. Subsequently, drivers lose access to key safety features such as power steering, brakes, and airbags. The faulty ignition switch recalls involve the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky vehicles.

An additional recall was issued by GMregarding the wiring for the mounted side airbags. The airbag issue may trigger a warning light that reads “Service Air Bag.” GM indicated that if customers ignore the warning light, the side airbags may ultimately fail to deploy. The wiring harness connectors for the side airbags, if not properly installed may be subject to corrosion or loose crimps. The airbag issue may cause non-deployment of all side-impact restraints, including the driver and passenger seat-mounted side air bags, the front center airbag and the seat belt pretensioners.

The airbag wiring recall affects the following vehicles:

· 2008-2013 Buick Enclave
· 2008-2013 GMC Acadia
· 2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse
· 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook

These defects have led to recalls on over 30 million GM vehicles, and GM has a compensation fund of $595 million for the victims’ families. However, the company is also facing ignition switch defect lawsuits that have since been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The MDL was established in order to make the complex litigation more efficient by, for example, eliminating duplicate discovery. In the GM ignition switch MDL, plaintiffs allege that the faulty ignition switch caused a car accident and that GM failed to address the defect appropriately. In September 2016, GM settled 2 bellwether cases that were scheduled for trial later that month. Bellwether cases are the first lawsuits in an MDL to go to trial and are intended to be representative of most of the litigation.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a recalled vehicle, contact an attorney at Padilla & Rodriguez by calling (713) 574-4600.

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*John M. Padilla is licensed in Texas and California. The firm's other attorneys are licensed in Texas.

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