A Texas woman is asserting that a faulty ignition switch in her 2004 Saturn
Ion caused the car accident that killed her fiancé, and also caused
her to plead guilty to negligent homicide. Candice Anderson recently filed
a lawsuit in federal court asking the judge to set aside the civil settlement
associated with the fatal accident. The lawsuit also seeks to recover
compensatory and punitive damages from
General Motors (GM). She is also seeking to set aside the criminal conviction, which she incurred
as a result of the car accident. Anderson and her fiance were driving
in her Saturn Ion in 2004 when it suddenly veered off the road and ran
into a tree. Her fiance was immediately killed and she was severely injured.
Because there were no skid marks, investigators quickly came to the incorrect
conclusion that Anderson was at fault for the accident and built a case
of negligent homicide against her.
Confronted with the evidence, Anderson became convinced that she was to
blame for her fiance's death. This resulted in her acceptance of responsibility
for her fiance's death, and her pleading guilty to negligent homicide.
Recently, evidence has surfaced that indicates that GM knew about the
faulty ignition switch problem associated with many of the company's
vehicles for well over a decade. The faulty ignition switches have been
tied to numerous incidents where the switch slips out of position and
the power steering, brakes, and air bags are then disabled. Anderson argues
in her suit that a faulty ignition switch in her GM made Saturn Ion was
the real cause of her car crash. Her lawsuit has been greatly strengthened
by a National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) finding that her
crash was caused by a faulty ignition switch. Recently, GM has made a
number of startling admissions regarding their faulty ignition switches.
They have now admitted to knowing about the faulty ignition switch problem
for over ten years and concede that the defective switches are responsible
for more than 50 car crashes and at least 13 deaths. Despite knowing of
the problem years ago, GM only started recalling cars early last year.