Kristin Hopkins was trapped in her overturned car for 6 days. A former Chrysler Automotive Engineer links the reason for the accident to a recall that happened six years too late.
Kristin filed a federal lawsuit this week claiming that hers cars Electronic Stability Control System failed to engage and as a result the cars electronic power steering gave out in April of 2014. Both systems on the 2009 Malibu were eventually recalled even though G.M. knew about the problem years earlier and drug their corporate feet issuing a recall. Hopkins lawyer Kurt Zaner told the Denver Post that "These are real lives being affected by corporate decisions and maybe this teaches G.M. a lesson - Don't wait so long to issue a recall."
According to the lawsuit, the automotive engineer that was hired by Zaner found data on the cars black box linking the malfunctions described in the eventual recalls to the facts surrounding the crash. G.M. would not specifically comment on the claims but issued a statement saying it would "Investigate this matter and work to understand what happened and why." The document that G. M. provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the company first learned about the problem with the stability control on the Malibu in 2008 and that was six years before the crash.
The result of the accident is that Kristin Hopkins tumbled 140 feet down an embankment and ended up in a grove of trees. She was trapped in the overturned car for six days without food or water except for some instant oatmeal in freezing conditions. The temperatures dropped below freezing while she was trapped and both of her feet were crushed beyond repair.
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