Ohio motorists may have heard of a fatal Pennsylvania accident that resulted in a three-month jail sentence for one driver. The 25-year-old female driver was a victim of the auto recalls that have plagued General Motors and other manufacturers. New evidence resulted in the erasure of her plea of guilty to involuntary manslaughter after the death of her teenage passenger.
The driver's Chevrolet Cobalt was part of a recall issued in 2014 by General Motors. The recall involved 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches. It is common for drivers to be blamed for unexplained accidents resulting from defects that are later discovered, and 64 million vehicles were recalled in 2014 alone, including vehicles that had been on the road for over a decade.
One Michigan law professor explains that defendants were often not believed when they claimed that their vehicles sped up on their own, but now the evidence shows that these may be reasonable claims. In the Pennsylvania case, the driver was giving her 16-year-old friend a ride home from school when her car's ignition switch shifted suddenly to the accessory position, causing the brakes and steering to lose power and the air bags not to deploy. Her passenger was killed in the resulting accident.
Victims of a car crash will often be forced to incur substantial medical expenses, and their financial situations can worsen if they are unable to return to work. While the causes of motor vehicle accidents are often difficult to pinpoint, an attorney for an injured victim might be able to determine the party or parties that should be held financially accountable by reviewing the police investigation report and other evidence.