Many Pennsylvania motorists were affected by the recall last year of 64 million motor vehicles due to defective parts. Now that it has been shown that these defects may have been responsible for some accidents, some drivers who received criminal charges for their involvement may be seeing their convictions overturned.
General Motors, one of the companies implicated, intends to cooperate with investigators concerning the accidents, so that the justice system may determine the correct causes. In some cases where it might be shown that a defective part caused the crash, it may have repercussions on the motor vehicle manufacturer in the form of lawsuits by the wrongfully convicted drivers.
In one incident, a young man driving a Saturn in Texas caused the death of a man in a pickup truck when his car went over to the shoulder of the road and then crossed back over the highway, hitting the man's vehicle. The young man suffered an injury to his brain as a result and reportedly could not recall what happened. He was arrested on manslaughter charges and faced up to 20 years in prison as a result. The young man's attorney hired a private investigator who determined that the car accident might have been linked to a defective ignition switch in the vehicle. While the charge against the young man was dropped, GM offered him the exact amount that his criminal defense had cost, with no other compensation. The young man turned down the offer and ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount.
A person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident that has been caused by a defective part may want to discuss the available remedies with a personal injury attorney. In some cases, it may be advisable to file a lawsuit that would seek damages from the vehicle manufacturer.