GM Issues Vehicle Recall for 26,000 Buicks and Cadillacs

Vehicle Recall Notice for Current Model Buicks and Cadillacs

General MotorsGeneral Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued vehicle recall notices for the 2013 model year Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac SRX. The vehicle recall notice covers 26,582 cars.

The recall notice was issued due to a problem with the software in the transmission controller. The transmission in the two models could accidentally shift into Sport mode, which could reduce the engine braking, and cause an accident.

GM said in a statement that the problem was not due to consumer complaints, but was discovered while engineers developed the 2014 model engine. There were no reports crashes or injuries related to the problem.

The 2013 Buick LaCrosse models were manufactured between April 25, 2012 and March 6, 2013. The Cadillac SRX’s were manufactured between May 29, 2012 and February 18, 2013.

Beginning on March 28, General Motors will contact owners about the vehicle recall so they can take their automobiles to a local dealership. GM dealers will reprogram the transmission for free.

Another, Smaller Vehicle Recall Notice from GM

A much smaller GM vehicle recall notice covered just 48 model year 2011 Chevrolet Express vans.

The NHTSA issued the vehicle recall because an improperly built pressure release vent pipe could allow natural gas to vent into the passenger compartment, which increases the risk of explosions or fire.

Impco Automotive, in cooperation with General Motors, will inspect the affected vehicles and make necessary repairs to the vent pipe. The safety recall will officially begin at the end of March 2013.

Any concerned GM owners can contact the manufacturer about recall notices at 1-800-521-7300. They can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236, or go to safercar.gov. The Buick and Cadillac recall reference number is 13053, and the Chevrolet Express recall number is 13065.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Defective Products and Vehicle Recall Cases

General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and since then has become a leaner, stronger company. However, this recall notice could make consumers wonder if GM’s recovery is real. Although it is a small recall, it affects several popular vehicles, and the engine problems are potentially deadly.

To protect yourself and your family, it’s important to know what products have been recalled because they are defective or unsafe. Federal agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) frequently issue recalls for medical devices, drugs, and products that may be harmful to consumers.

If you have experienced a problem with a defective product in your automobile, especially if a defective part has led to an auto accident or personal injury, and a proper vehicle recall notice has not been issued, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We can help you with complicated auto insurance claims, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to help you with lost income and medical bills. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today at (803) 252-4800.

DUI Death Settlement Includes Estate of Late USC Football Coach

DUIPersonal Liability Included in DUI Death Settlement

Last May, Justin Timmerman was run over in Five Points and dragged to his death by an SUV driven by a very intoxicated driver. The driver turned out to be William Carlen, the 24-year-old son of the late Jim Carlen, who was arrested for felony DUI. William Carlen had a history of DUI convictions, and the Timmerman family took him to court for the DUI death.

In January, Timmerman’s family received $975,000 in a personal injury suit against Jake’s Bar & Grill in Five Points. The bar was brought to court in the DUI personal injury lawsuit because they violated a South Carolina law that states that bars cannot serve patrons who are intoxicated. William Carlen was shown on surveillance footage to have entered the bar twice the night of the accident, and had a bar tab that “totaled almost $200.”

Carlen’s felony DUI criminal case has not yet gone to trial. However, the Timmerman family brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the Carlens, because William Carlen had a history of DUI arrests, and his family knew it.

Jim Carlen lent the SUV to his son, even though he knew the man had a history of DUI charges and arrests. That made Jim Carlen and his estate personally liable. The elder Carlen also provided his son with a credit card, which the son used at bars and night clubs to purchase alcohol.

Jim Carlen died last July, a few months after his son’s arrest on DUI charges. His estate is now liable for the personal injury lawsuit.

At the time of the accident, William Carlen had a blood alcohol level of .20 – more than twice the legal limit of .08 in South Carolina.

William Carlen and his mother Meredith Carlen settled at $1.3 million, most of which will be paid by insurance companies. However, the two survivors of Jim Carlen are personally responsible for $275,000.

DUI Representation in South Carolina

Pleading guilty to a DUI charge without the advice of a lawyer can have lasting personal and professional consequences including:

  • your ability to maintain your current as well as obtain future employment,
  • the expense of SR-22 insurance,
  • possible prison time,
  • hefty fines (which can double when you add court costs), &
  • the loss of your license.

A person will be charged with a felony for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, if while operating the vehicle under the influence, the person causes “great bodily injury” or death to a person other than himself including a passenger, pedestrian, another driver. Great bodily injury is defined by the state of South Carolina as bodily injury, which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious or permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Additionally, if the injured person dies from related complications (such as a coma) within three years of the DUI-related injury, the driver may be implicated in the death. Upon conviction of a felony DUI by jury, the accused faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence and fine.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Can Help with Felony DUI Charges

Are you or a loved one facing a felony charge resulting from a drunk driving accident that caused serious injury or loss of life to another? The criminal defense and felony DUI lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC provide a no-fee consultation to discuss the facts of your DUI case and to discuss whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Do not hesitate to contact us for help.803.252.4800

Teen Distracted Driving Deaths Down in South Carolina

traffic jam

Less Distracted Driving Leads to Fewer Teen Driving Deaths in South Carolina

Deaths of drivers aged 16 and 17 dropped again in 2012, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety. That means fewer teen distracted driving deaths.

This record is in keeping with South Carolina’s long-range trend as well. The number of teenage driving deaths, including from distracted driving, has been declining since 2003.

13 teenagers died in car accidents in 2012, according to statistics.

AAA Carolinas Traffic Safety Foundation president Tom Crosby believes that the decline in teenage and distracted driving deaths in the last few years has been more related to the economy than government initiatives or legislation. As the economy picks back up, there will be more teen deaths, because more teens will be driving more,” Crosby predicted. He recommended that South Carolina adopt a graduated youth driver’s license, which means kids spend more time behind the wheel with parental supervision before they can drive on their own.

National Teen Driving and Distracted Driving Numbers Went Up in 2012

The national average, however, went up last year.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers in traffic accidents was up in the first six months of 2012 by 19%, compared to 2011.

Between January and June of 2012, 107 16-year-old drivers died, due to distracted driving and other causes. In the first half of 2011, that number was just 86.

Deaths of 17-year-old drivers rose as well: 116 in the first half of 2011, compared to 133 in the first half of 2012.

The report is based on preliminary data from each state, which sometimes changes as more information comes in. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will release more data later in the year.

Twenty-five states reported increases, seventeen – including South Carolina – had decreases, and eight states and DC reported no change in overall teenage and distracted driving deaths.

Over the last ten years, the national average of teenage and distracted driving deaths has dropped dramatically – so, while it is concerning that the number is on the rise, the overall national trend, like the trend in South Carolina, is decreasing. In 2000, 435 16-year-old drivers died in car accidents. The total for 2011 dropped drastically to 173.

The long-term decline in teenage and distracted driving deaths seems to coincide with a gradual national decline in general traffic fatalities, which is also on the rise again. The National Safety Council reported that traffic fatalities rose 5% last year, which is the first increase since 2004 to 2005.

Distracted Driving is a Consistent Problem for Teenage Drivers

A study in May last year found that use of electronic devices was the most common form of distracted driving for teens. In a technology-fueled world, young drivers can often find themselves distracted by as many as three different devices at once (including cell phones, iPods, and GPS’s).

Interestingly, distracted driving tendencies were related to gender. According to the study:

  • Females were nearly twice as likely as males to use an electronic device while driving, and overall were nearly 10 percent more likely to be observed engaging in other distracted behaviors, like reaching for an object in the vehicle and eating or drinking.
  • Males were roughly twice as likely to turn around in their seats while driving, and were also more likely to communicate with people outside of the vehicle.

The findings are noteworthy as distracted driving contributes to South Carolina traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Cases from Distracted Driving Accidents

Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, distracted driving can lead to an accident, causing serious personal injury or even death.If you have been injured by an accident caused by distracted driving, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.