GM Offers to Buy Back Some Malfunctioning Chevy Malibus
General Motors is offering to buy back certain Chevy Malibus over a defect the automaker admits is difficult to fix.
GM has recalled some 2,100 Malibu sedans, the company told federal regulators.
Poorly welded front impact bars in the vehicles make them unsafe in the event of a crash, according to a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“These vehicles may have a condition in which the front impact bar, a structural portion of the vehicle frame, may be improperly welded to the front frame rail,” GM said in the notice. “If the front impact bar is improperly welded, front crash sensors may not perform as designed which may undermine occupant protection performance and increase the risk of injury in a frontal crash.”
The recall covers certain 2022 and 2023 Malibu sedans.
GM says it plans to notify owners of recalled vehicles by early February. The company will ask owners to bring the cars to a local dealer for inspection. GM will buy back any cars in which the defect is spotted rather than trying to fix it.
The company also stopped delivering vehicles that may be impacted by the defect.
Defective Cars Wreak Havoc on Roadways
The Malibu recall is a perfect example of how defective vehicles can pose serious safety risks to everyone on the road. Unfortunately, it is far from the only example.
GM in recent years recalled nearly all of the Chevy Bolts that it produced because of fire risks, for example. That recall followed reports of vehicles going up in flames and viral videos of parked cars catching fire overnight.
Last year, the company also called back nearly 700,000 vehicles over defective windshield wipers and another 100,000 cars over faulty backup cameras, among other recalls. GM acknowledged in both situations that the flaws increased the risk of accidents.
Legal Rights for California Car Owners
The good news for GM and other car owners in California is that you have some important legal rights and protections.
The California lemon law generally requires carmakers to perform a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. That means you do not need to wait around for a recall to get a malfunctioning car fixed.
The law also forces manufacturers to buy back vehicles that they are unable or flat-out refuse to fix. That means compensating the owner for the vehicle’s purchase price, as well as financing charges, rental car costs and other related expenses.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must happen before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. That is one reason why it is important to consult an experienced lemon law attorney.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.