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Car defect fatality prompts couple to start a safety watch list

In 2010, a 29-year-old Georgia woman died on her birthday. She had been driving along the highway when her vehicle, a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, unexpectedly turned off the anti-lock brakes and power steering. Due to the vehicle defect, the woman’s car slid across the road and collided with another car. The woman died as the result of the accident. Her parents, however, are turning their grief into a prevention strategy.

According to the woman’s father, she had taken her car to the manufacturer and reported the vehicle shutdown issue. The dealership told her that there was no solution for the problem just four days before her accident. Yet last year, General Motors issued a recall for the Cobalt among millions of other vehicles, citing the ignition issue that led to the woman’s death.

Her parents filed a lawsuit against GM and reached a settlement for $5 million. They also received money from a compensation fund that the manufacturer created. Using that money, the woman’s parents started working with The Safety Institute to develop a list of potential auto defects. The list pulls data from injury and crash reports across the country, identifying the top 15 vehicles that should be further investigated.

The woman’s parents state that they hope their list will prevent deadly accidents from occurring. Her father said that when her daughter was on her deathbed, he made her a promise to vindicate her death. People who have questions about auto defects and manufacturer liability should consult with an attorney.

Source: NBC News, “Parents of BM Crash Victim Fund Vehicle Safety Watchlist,” Tom Costellor and Rich Gardella, Sept. 7, 2015


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