My cousin was killed when her Chevy Cobalt's ignition switch turned-off, causing her car to continue moving without being able to steer. Her airbags also didn't deploy.
It was a beautiful summer morning and Sarah and Betty were driving home from visiting friends in Myrtle Beach. Sarah Trautwein was a freshman at the University of South Carolina. She was planning on studying pediatric cardiology and helping children with heart problems. She was the kind of girl who was friends with absolutely everyone, always smiling, and unconditionally adored her family. This particular instance she cut her trip short because she was missing her puppy, Sonnie, and her mom, Renee, way too much to stay away any longer. So, 7:00 that morning she woke-up and hit the road for home. She got on I-95 north and only had under an hour to go when Sarah and Betty fatally hit a tree.
You see, Betty was Sarah’s name for her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, and, unfortunately, Betty had a glitch. A big glitch. A glitch that ultimately ended Sarah’s 19-year life. The glitch within Betty was a faulty ignition switch that would randomly turn-off the vehicle while it was driving down the road; an ignition switch whose replacement would cost $0.57. That’s right: an ignition switch that would cost less than the change found in practically anyone's vehicle.
As it turns out, General Motors (the company who owns Chevrolet) knew about this defect. The INFAMOUS General Motors! General Motors: the company the American government and taxpayers had to financially support and bailout of financial ruin in 2009. General Motors: the company whose famous Chevrolet motto is “The Heartbeat of America.” General Motors: the company who touts safety ratings on their vehicles. General Motors: the company who killed my cousin.
Not only did we find out that Sarah died without her airbag deploying, we recently found-out that Sarah’s vehicle was one of 2.6 million that should have been recalled for the faulty ignition switch. Seems simple, right? Funny enough, we also found-out that there was a company cover-up in regards to this issue in 2006. A COVER-UP! A cover-up recently questioned by congress! They knew about the issues with their vehicles, went through measures to hide them from the public, ate dinner and went home to bed. Meanwhile, my aunt hasn’t had a full night’s sleep since Sarah’s passing, couldn’t eat for months, and will wear the pain of losing a child on her face until the day she dies. Yet GM could have prevented this: the untimely deaths of so many! And mind you, this was three whole years before Sarah’s death!
So, no, it wasn’t Betty who killed our precious Sarah. It was GM, the so called “Hearbeat of America.” It was the executives and employees at GM who were knowingly involved in the negligence, cover-ups and the scandal of the situation. It was anyone who knew about the neglect. If only one person had spoken-up our Sarah and the 40+ others who have been killed in similar accidents would be here today.
This is a serious matter and serious action must be taken. Please help us raise awareness and spread the word and help save lives. And please don’t be fooled by any of GM’s attempts at saving face. General Motors/Chevrolet executives are shrewd, unethical, and heartless people: making it virtually impossible to be the “Heartbeat of America”.
*While this petition was written from the perspective of Sarah's family and friends, this petition is in the hopes of avenging ALL those who were killed or injured due to GM's gross negligence.