No Ignition Switch Fix for Cadillacs

Cadillac Ignition Switch Update | 04-2017

In April of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request from General Motors Co. to review a lower-court ruling from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed some victims’ families to sue the company over defective ignition switches.  This lack of intervention from the Supreme Court means that the Second Circuit’s ruling, which said that GM should have divulged the ignition-switch defect when the company’s operations were sold in 2008 during the bankruptcy process, stands.  This decision potentially exposes the company to billions of dollars in potential new wrongful death and personal injury claims.

GM recalled over 2.5 million vehicles in 2014 for an ignition switch defect that allows the switches to slip from the run position, cause cars to stall and disable certain safety features such as air bags.  General Motors admitted that employees  knew of these problems for over a decade.

Read About Other Auto Defects >

As the number of models and vehicles recalled for faulty ignition switches grows, General Motors continues to struggle to find an adequate solution to the problem. Readers may recall an initial recall of a number of General Motors (GM) models in February 2014 for ignition switch complications. Now, the same mechanical problems have been found to plague Cadillac automobiles, resulting in GM’s recall of the Cadillac CTS and SRX models. This particular recall is somewhat unique in the sense that it has advanced despite the fact that GM has yet to develop a solution for the ignition switch defect. The newly recalled Cadillac vehicles join the 7.5 million GM automobiles recalled in June.

GM has been accused of knowing about their ignition switch problems since at least 2004, and the media has reported that the company may have known that the ignition technology did not meet the minimum safety standards prior to having green-lighted them for use in their vehicles. The corporation is facing numerous investigations on account of these allegations, with the objective of establishing a clear interpretation of why GM did not issue a recall earlier. As of 1 April 2014, the firm has linked the ignition defect with 13 deaths and 31 accidents, although GM only includes head-on collisions in which the airbags failed to deploy. They, for instance, did not include a second fatality in a 2006 car crash because the death of a second woman, sitting in the back seat, was attributed to a failed airbag deployment. In a June 2014 report, international news media agency Reuters concluded that the ignition switch problems are responsible for the deaths of 74 victims, although the exact figures continue to be disputed.

The automaker has been targeted by numerous lawsuits and these are expected to grow in number. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for repair costs, diminished resale values, and the loss of their vehicles. General Motors has agreed to pay compensation to the families of those who have died as a result of faulty ignition switches; victims who suffered personal and material injury may also be eligible for recompense.

GM has not yet found a way of fixing the faulty ignition switches. The ignition failure is attributed to a defective switch detent plunger, which is a tiny metal pin with a spring attached on one end. This detent plunger is supposed to hold the ignition in place, whether in “run” or “accessory” modes. Designed to supply torque to maintain the ignition in position, some GM plungers cannot supply the force necessary to keep the switch in place. As a result, if the affected vehicle is subjected to several bumps or if the key is accidentally hit by the driver’s knee, the car can turn off and the power-assist to the steering and brakes will shut down. Additionally, the defective ignition switch may also be responsible for disabling the automobile’s airbags.

As a temporary resolution, GM has issued a stop-sale order for affected Cadillac models, which include the 2003–2014 CTS and 2004–2006 SRX crossovers. There is some confusion over which models and years suffer the ignition problems, as GM soon corrected its recall to clarify that the new 2014 models do not have the mechanical complication. As it turns out, the 2014 CTS sedan does not include the defective switch, while the 2014 CTS Coupe and Wagon versions do. This latest muddle only adds to General Motor’s disordered handling of the issue.

Ignition Switch Recall: Makes and Models

Make & Model


Make & Model


Chevrolet Cobalt

All Years

Chevrolet Impala


Chevrolet HHRS

All Years

Chevrolet Monte Carlo


Pontiac G5S

All Years

Chevrolet Camaro


Pontiac Solstice

All Years

Chevrolet Malibu


Saturn Ion

All Years

Oldsmobile Intrigue


Saturn Sky

All Years

Oldsmobile Alero


Buick Lacrosse


Buick Lucerne


Cadillac Deville


Buick Regal LS & GS


Cadillac DTS


Pontiac Grand Am


Pontiac Grand Prix


Cadillac CTS


Cadillac SRX



Contact Pope McGlamry

If your current vehicle has been recalled, it is important to follow up with your dealership to resolve the issue. Faulty vehicle parts can result in severe injury or, worse, death. If you or a family member have fallen victim to a faulty ignition switch or any other defective vehicle component, the expert legal team at Pope McGlamry P.C. has the tried experience and thorough knowledge to represent your interests in court.  Contact us today to schedule a free case review and consultation at our Columbus and Atlanta, GA offices.

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