The New Year 2013 begins with notice that Detroit needs to recall more than 680,000 potentially defective automobiles manufactured by GM and Subaru. The two recall notices are due to manufacturing defects that can potentially lead to injury or death.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says more than 600,000 cars made by Subaru represented a potential fire hazard. A faulty “puddle light” in the cars’ doors has been known to short circuit, which could melt plastic in the immediate area, generating smoke and, potentially, fire, according to a New York Times report.

The first incident of smoke from the car light was reported in 2007, according to the Times, and Subaru responded with an engineering fix. A spokesman for Subaru could not explain to The Times why a recall was not initiated when the potentially dangerous automotive part was identified six years ago.

The NHTSA says the Subaru product safety recall affects about 600,000 cars. But the manufacturer says the faulty automotive product identified as a possible fire hazard actually only exists in about 54,000 Subarus.

Still, 633,842 owners of the 2010-11 Legacy and Outback; the 2006-12 Tribeca sold before January 2012; and the 2009-12 Forester will receive recall notices advising them that their Subaru dealer will install a part to resolve the hazard free of charge.

More distressing perhaps is the recall of 55,000 General Motors pickup trucks, SUVs and vans because the vehicles can be shifted out of park and roll away unexpectedly even if the ignition key is in the off position or removed. GM says the vehicles may have been built with faulty park lock cables or malformed steering column lock gears, according to an Associated Press report in the Post and Courier of Charleston.

GM says the automotive defect may be present in certain 2013 models of the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche and Express; the GMC Sierra, Savana and Yukon; and the Cadillac Escalade. Dealers will replace the affected vehicles’ steering columns at no charge to the owner.

Both Subaru and GM say they know of no injuries caused by the defective products identified in these automotive recalls.

At the Joye Law Firm, we know from experience that motor vehicle defects such as these can cause serious injury and death. Cars are frequently the subject of product liability lawsuits.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina accident caused by a defective automotive product, our defective product attorneys can advise you of your legal rights. Contact Joye Law Firm at (877) 936-9707 or through our free online case evaluation form.

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