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Parents of dead teens join car accident suit against automaker

A single car accident that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl in 2006 has been blamed on a defective General Motors (GM) automobile. GM acknowledges this car accident among its statistics on deaths associated with GM ignition switch defects. However, only the 15-year-old's death is included on GM's list of deaths caused by ignition switch problems and relatives of both teenagers do not know why. After numerous accidents and deaths, consumers in Wisconsin and other parts of the United States have begun to question the safety of GM automobiles.

In the accident that killed the two teens, the 18-year-old was sitting in the back and the 15-year-old was in the front passenger seat. Their vehicle, a Chevy Cobalt, drove into a tree after an alleged ignition switch failure caused the driver to lose control of the car. The parents suspect that maybe the 18-year-old was not listed among fatal accident victims because she was in the back seat (where there are no airbags) and because she succumbed to her head injuries two weeks after the accident occurred.

The teenagers' parents only learned of the connection between their daughters' deaths and GM's ignition switch defect early this year. In March, they became plaintiffs, along with other victims and their families, in a lawsuit against General Motors. In recent years, GM ignition switch problems have led to the recall of millions of cars and have been at the center of wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.

Single car auto accidents in Wisconsin usually occur due to driver error. However, a car accident sometimes occurs as the result of a defective motor vehicle problem as well. When this is the case -- as occurred in various deaths and injuries caused by General Motors defects in recent years -- it could be possible to hold the automaker liable for damages caused by the crash.

Source: Fox 8 WGHP, "Two died in 2006 Cobalt crash, GM counts only one" No author given, May. 28, 2014

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