Local News

Apr 17, 2014 9:39 PM by Janine Reyes

Judge Decides Not to Order GM Cars Parked

CORPUS CHRISTI -- A local attorney says millions of GM car owners and surrounding drivers on the road could be in danger tonight. He says that's because Corpus Christi federal judge Nelva Gonzales-Ramos denied an emergency motion he filed last week.

The motion asked Judge Ramos to issue a "park it now alert," a notification that GM owners would be sent telling them that if they don't park their cars, they could potentially end up in a collision that could seriously injure, even kill them.

Because the judge decided not to, Attorney Bob Hilliard says you could be in danger.

Charles Silvas is a Corpus Christi car owner who found out first hand just how dangerous the GM ignition problem can be. His car stopped twice in the road in the middle of traffic when the ignition switch gave out.

Hilliard is representing him and about 130 more people across the nation who were impacted.

Some drivers are far less fortunate than others. Hilliard says his caseload includes about 30 deaths and several serious injuries. When the ignition gives out, the key has the potential to fall out, meaning the airbags wont deploy.

"If the airbags don't deploy and you hit the steering wheel or the dash at 40-50 miles an hour, you're going to have life changing injuries," Hilliard explained.

That's why Hilliard asked Judge Ramos to make GM notify drivers of the problems with a recommendation to park those cars now.

The judge did not rule in Hilliard's favor, saying that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acts as the auto industry watchdog, and they are proceeding with the GM recall.

Hilliard says the agency does not have enough power to keep drivers safe.

"The problem is they're outspent, out manned and they are a toothless tiger they can not control the car companies," he explained.

He does believe Judge Ramos put a lot of thought into her decision, but he fears anyone on the road could be the next victim of the GM ignition problem.

"This was a public safety issue," Hilliard said of last week's motion, "this was an emergency motion that we really, I still feel very strongly, was necessary to prevent tomorrow's accident from hurting or killing someone."

Hilliard says he's got clients who did as they were instructed and took the weight off their key chains to fix the ignition problem and they still had malfunctions that put them and others in danger.

That's why Hilliard made this motion.

The next hearing will be in Chicago, that's where all the cases against GM will be consolidated.

The the automaker is also asking for protection in bankruptcy court.

The vehicles affected are the Chevrolet Cobalt, model year 2005-2010. The HHR, model years 2006-2011. The Pontiac G5 from 2007-2010, the G5, model years 2007-2010 and the Solstice 2006-2010. Also included in the recall are the Saturn Ion and the Sky, for those makes, the model years affected are 2003-2007.

Here's more information available on GM's website.

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