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GM, "Our Son Is Dead -- Please Stop Sending Recall Notices"

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SOURCE MLG Automotive Law

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On December 13, 2009, 20-year-old Eagle Scout Ben Hair was tragically killed when he lost control of his 2007 Pontiac G5 while traveling down an isolated Virginia road on a Sunday afternoon, hitting a tree at 50 mph.

Ben's accident was a mystery to investigators: There were no skid marks, no other vehicles involved, no sign of distress and the airbags did not deploy. The car simply left the road for no apparent reason and hit a tree without braking. The accident occurred two miles from Ben's home, on a road that he had driven nearly every day for five years.

Nine months after the accident, Ben's parents received a recall notice from GM that the power steering unit on Ben's Pontiac G5 was defective. The Hairs immediately contacted GM and asked that it investigate the accident. Despite knowing that the Pontiac G5 contained the deadly ignition switch – and that Ben's accident had the same characteristics as the other ignition switch fatalities – GM told the Hairs that it had no responsibility. When the ignition switch fails, the car suddenly powers down, and cuts off the power steering, power brakes and air bags.

When the Hairs made their claim to GM in late 2010, the company became aware that Ben Hair was dead and that his Pontiac G5 was sitting in a junkyard. Yet, it continued to send the Hairs power steering recall notices – providing them with a constant reminder that their son had been killed in a GM car.

In an effort to stop the recall notices, Ben's parents traveled to GM dealerships on three separate occasions, asking them to have GM stop sending the recall notices. The Hairs filled out forms and spoke to dealership management, but GM continued sending notices to the Hairs every couple of months.

The recall notices tortured the Hairs mercilessly – and the situation was already tragic. Because the accident site is only two miles from the Hairs' home and on the only road into town, Ben's mother, Brenda, began refusing to leave the house. In January of this year she suffered a stroke, and is now paralyzed.

On May 21, 2014 – after learning that GM had fraudulently concealed the fact that their son's car contained a defective the ignition switch – the Hairs filed a wrongful death lawsuit against GM in federal court. Yet, even this didn't stop the recall notices. On Tuesday, June 4, 2014, the Hairs received another recall notice for the power steering and ignition switch. Incredibly, that same day, GM CEO Mary Barra issued a public apology for sending families, like the Hairs, recall notices when their family members had already been killed by GM cars.

On Saturday, June 7, 2014, the Hairs received a letter in the mail from GM.  They thought it was a letter of apology for having been sent countless recall notices over the past four years. It was not.  It was another recall notice.

"The company just won't stop," said Jonathan Michaels of MLG Automotive Law, the Hairs' attorney. "The Hairs have met with managers at GM dealerships, have sent written requests to GM and have filed a federal lawsuit, and the company just won't stop," said Michaels. "Imagine for a moment receiving constant reminders of how your son died, every couple of months, over the course of four years – and not being able to do anything about it. It is the most inhumane treatment of a customer I can imagine."

About MLG Automotive Law

Located in Newport Beach, California, MLG Automotive Law is a full service business law firm, focusing on the automotive industry. MLG Automotive Law has litigated cases against nearly every major automotive manufacturer, and is counsel on two class action cases against General Motors for the ignition switch recall. Follow MLG Automotive Law on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you would like to schedule an interview with Jonathan Michaels, please contact Sharyl Beeman at (949) 581-6900 or email at sbeeman@mlgautomotivelaw.com.

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