GM car recall offers possible answers to local crash victim
EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -
General Motors is in hot water as its investigated for a possible decade-long cover-up regarding faulty parts in some of its cars. They've been linked to dozens of crashes and deaths. The company has recalled millions of cars including the model an East Ridge woman says landed her in the hospital.
Katie Rhudy says the recent recalls seem to have finally offered an explanation for what caused her to crash into a home in 2011. She's thankful the residents weren't injured, though she was. In the years since, she's still been unclear on what happened that night. Now, she's re-evaluating it all after learning the type of car she was driving is on the recall list.
Katie Rhudy's Chevy Cobalt went barreling into a Connelly Lane home November 8, 2011 in East Ridge. Emergency responders pulled her out of the rubble and she was taken to the hospital with a concussion, injured back and cut face.
"I could've died and chevy doesn't care. They just don't care," Katie Rhudy said.
She's replayed what led up to the crash over and over again, but her memory is fuzzy. It was assumed she had a sudden medical issue, like a seizure, but it was never determined for sure.
Fast forward almost three years and that 2008 Chevy Cobalt she was driving is one of the General Motors models being recalled for faulty parts that can cause the power steering to suddenly go out. The defects have been linked to at least 32 crashes and 13 deaths.
"I've gone this whole time thinking it was my fault and blaming myself for it. Then now all of a sudden, I find out there's a recall and it was most likely the car's fault," Katie said.
GM recently admitted to knowing about the defect at least a decade ago. The families of fatal crash victims were present last week for federal hearings in which GM officials were questioned about why they failed to warn the public for so long.
"I can't tell you why it took so long for a safety defect to be announced for this program, but I can tell you we will find out," General Motors CEO Mary Barra said.
"They knew exactly what was wrong with the car and they just didn't want to say anything," Katie said.
She says Chevy officials told her there's nothing she can do now to prove her Cobalt was to blame for her accident since it's long since been totaled and handled by the insurance company, but she still wants to clear her name.
Katie says her next step may be consulting with an attorney. She says even if she gets nothing from GM, she at least wants to leave the guilt she's been feeling behind.