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General Motors crash investigations continue

Kentucky residents may remember a 2006 California accident during which a driver lost control of a Chevrolet Cobalt before the vehicle rolled over. This incident occurred on a clear, dry and warm day and caused a death, and a Vanguard Car Rental USA claims adjuster requested that General Motors inspect the vehicle.

The driver wore a seat belt, but the airbags did not activate when the car became stuck in a gravel median. Similar accidents were documented in automobile reviews, police reports, call transcripts and warranty records. A total of 30 crashes causing 37 deaths occurred when customers drove in Cobalts and Saturn Ions. Documentation acquired by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated stalled vehicles as a possible cause. Cars quit because of faulty ignition switches.

General Motors told NHTSA that they might not have had sufficient information about what caused the original California crash. Furthermore, research files didn't indicate whether GM followed through with Vanguard's inspection request. A spokesperson for the automobile company said they changed how they deal with vehicle problems addressed by rental companies. The Center for Auto Safety stated that many people who don't know the cars drive rental vehicles, and that this could make a difference in whether or not people survive the accidents.

Personal injury lawyers study car accident data from police reports, witness statements, and customer records. This helps them form a case for a person suffering loss of a loved one. They might receive compensation to cover funeral costs, and they might also receive financial reward for medical expenses or vehicle damage.

Source: St. Louis Today, "Rental-car companies pushed GM on fatal crashes before recall", Jeff Plungis and Tim Higgins, July 31, 2014

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