A mother who tirelessly advocated for automotive safety after losing her daughter in the crash of a vehicle with a defective General Motors ignition switch is being honored for the first Clarence M. Ditlow III Safety Champion Award.
Laura Christian was selected for her “stalwart commitment to consumer protection and vehicle safety that characterized Clarence’s life,” said Joan Claybrook, co-chair of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in a statement released today.
The award honors the life of Clarence Ditlow, who for four decades served as the executive director of The Center for Auto Safety. Ditlow, regarded nationally as a leading advocate and expert on automotive safety and consumer rights, died in November.
Ms. Christian lost her daughter, Amber Marie Rose, in 2005 when her Chevrolet Cobalt crashed and the airbag failed to deploy. Her death was one of dozens that brought national attention to the deadly ignition switch defect that existed for more than a decade but GM failed to publicly address.
More than 7 million vehicles in the United States were recalled for the defect, which could cause the engine to turn off, disabling the power steering, brakes and airbags. Since the defect was exposed, Langdon & Emison has represented clients across the country who were injured or lost loved ones in crashes involving defective ignition switches.
General Motors has acknowledged at least 124 deaths from the deadly defect, according to Forbes.
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