Manhattan owners of General Motors vehicles may be aware that the automaker issued a massive recall earlier this year. However, GM may have been notified of potential issues long before the recall. According to reports, vehicle rental companies approached GM with several requests to investigate some incidents that had occurred with their rental cars.

In a 2006 crash, a driver who had rented a Chevy Cobalt was killed in a rollover accident when the air bags did not deploy. Although the cause of the wreck was not known immediately, a claims adjuster for Vanguard contacted GM of the unusual incident and requested an investigation. Other rental car companies like Enterprise, Hertz and Avis Budget also reported crashes with faulty air bags in Cobalt cars.

Various case files linked to stalling and air bag deployment failure in GM cars reveal that the carmaker was aware of possible issues for nearly eight years. In 30 reported crashes with Saturn Ion and Cobalt cars, there were 37 fatalities. Even though there is not a clear link of the role of rental cars in the GM recall controversy, an industry consultant suggested that since rental agencies use certain models en masse, they may have noticed issues with defects first.

When a car accident victim suffers catastrophic injuries due to a faulty vehicle part, he or she could be entitled to financial compensation from the carmaker. A lawyer could assist in the drafting process of a personal injury claim and review evidence like maintenance records and crash reports to establish a strong case.

Source: St. Louis Today, “Rental-car companies pushed GM on fatal crashes before recall“, Jeff Plungis and Tim Higgins, July 31, 2014