Our firm is currently involved in a wrongful death claim related to a car dealership’s failure to address a Chevrolet Cobalt’s engine shutting off while driving. Despite GM’s Technical Service Bulletin (“TSB”) calling for a keyhole fix among other things, the dealership performed a throttle body injector (TBI) cleaning that had nothing to do with the problem and did not address the owner’s concerns raised with the dealership. The dealer failed to adequately and properly search the TSB database; performed unnecessary work; and the next day the car lost power and crashed. The young owner ultimately died from her injuries.
But for a review of the vehicle’s “Black Box” data recorder recovered after the crash the (Electronic Data Recorder or EDR), no one would have known the vehicle shutoff before she lost control. The EDR demonstrated the vehicle switched from the “Run” position to the “ACC” position three to four seconds before the crash. This event resulted in a loss of power, steering, control, and brakes. Recently, GM issued a recall involving the ignition switch device.