Having a SUV with an automatic lift gate is a tremendous luxury. Being able to open the back door with just a push of a button is a welcome convenience when you have your hands full. But while we have written in a number of our posts that the recalls will keep coming for automobiles, the latest recall from General Motors is a testament to that foresight.
GM recently announced that it would be recalling more than 700,000 SUVs with power lift gates, citing problems that can lead to the gates falling unexpectedly. According to a recent ABC News.com report, the company indicated that it reported 56 injuries due to this defect.
The problem is ostensibly based on dirt that can get into the gas struts that hold up the rear gates. This could cause the struts to wear down and eventually fail. Apparently there is software that could detect these problems that is prevented from doing so.
Because of this, GM dealers will replace faulty struts and update the software system that will detect such issues before they become big problems. This is important not only for the safety of car owners, but also for avoiding the legal issues that can come with failing to address known defects. After all, automakers have a continuing legal duty to inform consumers of dangerous defects that can lead to harm.
If an automaker fails to adhere to this duty, and a consumer is injured as a result, the automaker could be held liable. It remains to be seen whether the people previously injured will bring lawsuits against GM.