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Have you ever received a letter from your car manufacturer telling you about a recall on your car? If you have, did you look into it? Ensuring your car is meeting safety standards regarding recalls is extremely important. It can even mean the difference between life and death.

March 10, 2010

A pediatric nurse, Brooke Melton, in Georgia fell victim to a vehicle defect on her 29th birthday. While driving down the highway after a shift at the hospital, Melton’s car, a 2005 Cobalt, “slipped into the accessory position,” causing her car to lose all power and struck another vehicle. Due to her injuries, Melton passed away.

At first, police concluded that Brooke Melton lost control driving since the roads would have been wet due to rain that day. However, weeks after the accident, Melton’s family discovered a notice in the mail from GM. This notice, addressed to Brooke, informed them of the open recall on Cobalt’s that GM had let slide for too long.

Unfortunately, 124 people lost their lives due to vehicle defect that was the subject of this recall, and left 257 injured.

car recall battery

Startling Facts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2018 that over 30.7 million cars were on the roads with open recalls. That number should be concerning to you if you know you have an open recall on your car. In 2017, every 1 in 5 vehicles had some sort of open recall. However, if you’re wondering if you car is subject to any sort of recall, even regarding tires, check here.

Most recalls come in the form of a printed notice in the mail. Otherwise, you could be notified when taking your vehicle in for maintenance at a certified dealership.

Dangers Behind a Recall

Imagine you’re on a road trip. Maybe this is for work or leisure. Either way, you are traveling down a fairly unoccupied highway and suddenly your car stops. Or, it is making a funny noise. Something happens and you know this can’t be good. You vaguely remember receiving some kind of recall notice in the mail. But, you discarded it without a second thought. Ignoring a notice can lead to you becoming stranded or even be the cause of an accident. Unfortunately, for Brooke Melton, her notice was not sent out until it was too late.

If you start to notice your car acting funny, or doing something it should not be doing, contact your local manufacture dealership and ensure there are no open recalls. Keeping up with your car’s safety will help keep you and your loved ones safe.


Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.

If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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