Alexis Wilson spent two years in jail after slamming into a pole while driving a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and causing the death of her best friend, Tamia Williams. While Wilson openly admits her role in the accident – including intoxication – she believes her friend may still be alive if the Malibu’s front airbags had deployed.
The Pontiac, Mich. resident and Williams’ mother have now hired an attorney to sue “GM over what they believe is a defect in the Malibu. While the front air bags did not deploy, the side-curtain ones did,” according to the Detroit News.
“I feel like I took responsibility for my actions with me going to prison and dealing with my friend dying. I feel like that General Motors should take some responsibility in terms of what’s wrong with the car.”
Though General Motors did recall the Chevrolet Malibu earlier this year, the recall was for possible power steering failure and not for airbag-related issues. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that it has received 18 complaints related to airbags in the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu.
Wilson’s lawyer, Bob Hilliard, told the Detroit News that he planned to file a lawsuit against General Motors unless the company added the vehicle to the compensation plan for victims of accidents related to ignition switch failure. “This is an absolute cookie-cutter air bag deployment case. In this type of impact, the air bags are to deploy.” The newspaper added that the police report specifically notes that the vehicle suffered severe damage to the front end and passenger door.
For her part, Wilson told the Detroit News that suing General Motors is not about money. “I just want my record clean and for [Williams’] family to forgive me and let everybody know it wasn’t my fault and could be something wrong with the car.”
General Motors spokesman Greg Martin chose not to comment about the pending legal case.