GM vehicle drivers in Bozeman may be interested in knowing that General Motors may have been alerted to trouble with certain vehicles years prior to the issue of their recall. Several rental car companies reported accidents involving their customers and asked for investigations into the circumstances.
Approximately seven years before the recent recall, Vanguard Rental USA reported that one of their customers was involved in a fatal accident while driving a GM vehicle. The car, a Chevy Cobalt, went out of control, and the driver was killed in the collision. The driver's death may have been caused by the failure of an airbag to deploy upon impact. The driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. Vanguards' insurance adjuster requested an investigation by GM due to the seriousness of the incident and the unknown cause of the crash.
A subsequent request for investigation of the Chevy Cobalt was issued by Enterprise Rental due to similar concerns. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration worked with General Motors to determine if there was a problem with the Cobalt model for eight years, according to their files. Hertz and Avis Budget also reported problems with crashes involving the same model vehicle. GM did order a recall of the Cobalt, the Ion, and others, totaling an estimated 2.6 million cars, for an ignition switch problem. When the switch is bumped, the ignition can shut down, disabling the airbags.
Financial burdens brought about by accidents where there may be negligence should not be the responsibility of the injured victims or their families. When a car accident has caused injury and undue stress on a family's finances, it may help to discuss options with a personal injury lawyer.
Source: St. Louis Today, "Rental-car companies pushed GM on fatal crashes before recall", Jeff Plungis and Tim Higgins, July 31, 2014