By on November 25, 2014


A Texas woman was exonerated when a seven-year-old negligent homicide conviction was overturned due to evidence linking the conviction to the February 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall.

Automotive News reports Candice Anderson was cleared in the death of her boyfriend in 2004, which happened in her Saturn Ion. Though police stated Anderson was under the influence of illegal drugs at the time of the accident — leading to the conviction in 2007 — both the prosecutors and the state trooper who investigated the accident conceded that she had nothing to do with what occurred, citing the ignition switch at the center of the recall as evidence.

Her boyfriend, Gene Mikale Erickson, was one of the original 13 fatalities GM linked to the recall, with its own investigation turning up a May 2007 report linking his death to the failed deployment of airbags due to a loss of power, likely caused by the troubled ignition switch.

Though having previously settled with the automaker in 2008 for $75,000 — most of which paid legal fees and provided for Erickson’s two daughters from a previous relationship, as per the terms of the plea bargain — Anderson may have more to gain, having submitted paperwork for her and on Erickson’s behalf to the victim compensation program operated by the office of Kenneth Feinberg. She is weighing her options, however, as she would waive her right to sue upon acceptance, though any lawsuits would already be hindered by GM’s 2009 bankruptcy protections.

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41 Comments on “Texas Woman Exonerated Due To GM Ignition Switch Recall...”

  • avatar

    Ok, this is getting stupid now

  • avatar

    This is a lawyer’s wet dream.

    She was on drugs? Eh, whatever!

  • avatar

    She sounds like a real freakin winner.
    Also, a typical Ion driver.

    • 0 avatar

      She and her Ion are a Crabspirits story just waiting to happen

    • 0 avatar

      @CoreyDL…”a typical Ion driver” I’d like you to expand on that. Is it just certain people that drive Ion’s. I’m just saying , because my daughter drove her old Ion for years. She was going to trade it in, but instead went back to school to get her Masters. A couple a years ago she was thinking about a BMW.

      “Dad”, she said. The BMW is over priced, and bought a CRV instead. Today she could pick up any vehicle she wanted, and write a check for it. Half the people that work for her, drive a way nicer car than she does. She doesn’t care. She is under 40, on her way to a VP’s job. She hopes the CRV will give her the service, that the old Saturn did.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        +1, mikey. And good for your daughter and her proud dad.

      • 0 avatar

        A generalization is just that. Be offended if you like.

      • 0 avatar

        mikey wrote, “Is it just certain people that drive Ion’s.”

        From personal experience I can tell you that “young ladies” were very interested in being seen driving a Saturn product. It must have been the styling of them, along with heavy marketing to the fairer sex.

        When my daughter graduated HS in 1996, that’s what she wanted; a 4-dr Saturn, in dark green, with AC, a manual/stick shift, 15″ alloys, a sunroof and a spoiler on the trunk lid.

        That love affair only lasted four years. After that it was on to a Corolla and she lived happily ever after.

        These days it is a 2013 Odyssey.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m not the least bit offended.
          Its just not that long ago, that TTAC had a big blow up over generalizing Suburu Legacy drivers. The time before that it was the Miata. Want to open up a can of worms? Lets try “generalizing Prius owners.

          I’m just saying its a “slippery slope”

          • 0 avatar

            @Mikey, with all due respect your daughter no longer drives the ION, Why? Because she got an education and a decent job and could buy a better car.

  • avatar

    Wait a minute TTAC, I thought the media was utterly ignoring GM and trying to cover things up by pushing the Takata fiasco, yet this received pretty high billing in every regular media outlet I read.

  • avatar

    “Provided for Erickson’s two daughters from a previous relationship.”

    Hmm. The kind of relationship that forms after too many Lone Stars in a honky tonk joint?

  • avatar

    What is is going to take to finally see executives that those responsible for dozens of deaths to finally go to jail?

    Where is the negligent homicide charge for GM?

    • 0 avatar

      Changing my reply…

      After reading the Honda story on TTAC just below this Saturn Ion story I couldn’t let my old reply stand.

      Your “outrage” is fake.

      There. I said it. It’s fake. You don’t care about the deaths. You don’t care about your desire for the government to take action for the safety of ALL.

      You just want someone to stick it to GM.

      This isn’t a defense of GM or the indefensible – refer to what I just wrote on the Honda story.

      See, if you were truly outraged over a corporate culture of plausible deniability for executives, suppression of engineers and their data, retribution to whistle blowers, the systemic hiding of data, and how the auto industry is way too cozy with government regulators – your ire would be directed at Toyota, GM and Honda alike.

      They all basically did the same things (as we’ve basically learned this morning with Honda and final nail in that oh we didn’t know coffin), they all killed people, they all tried to cover it up on a grand scale.

      So what – you just want to see GM charged? Really?

      I’m sorry you don’t like GM products – fine – no issue here – GM built steaming piles of crap for close to three decades, and still builds some duds – but to call for the torches to burn Ren Center down while ignoring the ongoing train wreck at Honda and Takata, is just hypocritical.

  • avatar

    Nothing to see here.

    If you remember during the Toyota floor mat, gas pedal, etc. fiasco there were similar headlines. Wasn’t some guy in Minnesota “exonerated” over an accident in Camry – or was it Wisconsin?

    • 0 avatar

      Although the faulty CTS gas pedals were also used in other OEM brands, we never heard much about the problems they caused in the other OEM brands.

      When people choose to buy a brand, any brand, they deserve whatever it is they get, good bad or indifferent. It’s all about choice!

      I bet the people directly affected by the faulty GM ignition switch now wish they had bought something else instead.

      I guess what most influenced me to forsake Ford and GM for all my future buys were the trumped-up charges against Toyota and the ensuing Congressional hearings, at the time when GM and Chrysler had died, and Ford was teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

      It must have influenced other buyers as well because C4C was a rousing success, ……..for Toyota.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually I wasn’t referring to the faulty CTS pedals.

        I was referring to the million of gas pedals that Toyota got the carpet knives out for and “reshaped” to prevent pedal entrapment.

        Now we can dismiss that as not fixing a real problem – I’m inclined to agree.

        But I will then add that many of the GM ignition switch recalls for problems outside of low torque on the initially impacted vehicles are – also likely nothing more than steps to cover butt and make customers feel better.

        Ask any G8 or Camaro owner what they think about the “possibility the knee could hit the ignition switch,” recalls on the Zeta cars.

        It’s insanity. There is zero conformational bias here. For my knee to hit the ignition switch in a G8 I would have to have the seat all the way forward to the point that my chest was pressed up the steering wheel, that was telescoped as close as possible to the dash. I would then have to raise the seat to the highest possible position, mashing my legs into the steering wheel. I would then have to hunch over the steering wheel, as if I was hugging it for dear life, and pull my knees up into my chest. Then, MAYBE, my knee might hit the switch. I couldn’t possibly drive the car at this point but hey, another ignition switch recall makes great headlines.

        The above isn’t a defense of GM – it is just drawing the parallel that Toyota deciding to take carpet knives to millions of gas pedals to just be extra sure because well maybe there were shaped wrong.

        All of it is distractions from the real problem. Business has buried the dead in red tape and double speak for more than a century. Government regulators were created in the early 20th century to end the abuses. There was a strong positive impact through the fifties, and then it became perverted, regulators got cozy with business, and we have a big stinking mess.

        Recalling keys for Zeta platform cars and carpet knives to pedals are just distractions for the masses to take attention off of the real problem.

        Ooooooooooooo…see…we’re doing something, we’re going to be good corporate citizens from now on.

        Not a condemnation of corporations in general, just how broken our system is.

        Typed on a corporate designed keyboard attached to a corporate designed computer attached to a corporate designed moderator and sent via corporate provided and contracted internet and processed by corporate designed contact lens so I could see what I typed. I’m sitting in a corporate designed chair and at a corporate designed home office wall unit. So far none of these items have tried to kill me today.

        • 0 avatar

          APaGttH, your comment was rejected because of the s-i-d sequence in line 5.

          Chances are there were more of them, but I quit looking after the first sequence.

          I also have to add that being able to edit my comment in Safari ins1de iOS 8.1.1 is pretty slick!

      • 0 avatar


        I wrote a reply, it posted, and now it’s gone.

        I feckin’ HATE TTACs back end right now.

        • 0 avatar

          APaGttH, try posting your comment in paragraphs, then correct the paragraph that fails to post.

          I can see that SysAdmin is working this problem because I can now edit from within Safari running ins!de iOS 8.1.1. (Changed!)

          That’s a huge improvement for me when I can’t use my Win8.1 PC because Kitty is using it for work.

  • avatar

    I hereby resolve to drive only 15 year old GM products with Toyota floormats and Takata airbags, so that in the event I get into an accident I will have someone else to blame.

  • avatar

    Regardless of her mental state or driving ability,it was the fault of the car.New GM ,old GM ,they have to compensate her properly.If they can pay the CEO Mary Barra $14 million on her first year ,which is way more than the entire Toyota board,they can afford it.

    • 0 avatar

      The New GM doesn’t owe her anything. Her recourse is against the old GM, which is in liquidation.

    • 0 avatar

      She was high on Xanax and drove her car into a tree, killing her boyfriend. There were no signs of skidmarks or any attempt to avoid the tree.

      I don’t get why GM should pay her for killing her boyfriend.

      • 0 avatar

        The airbags failed to deploy, which may have contributed to the severity of her injuries and his death.

        Her attorney claimed that the ignition failure caused the crash by locking the steering wheel. It would appear that the courts agree with her argument.

        However, this occurred prior to the BK, so this should not be the new GM’s problem. The old GM is a different entity and has the liability.

  • avatar

    Was boyfriend wearing a sealt belt? Was he just as loaded or more so?

    I’m not seeing a human tragedy here, more like a little birth control.

  • avatar

    Excuse me, but can we stop and consider Ms. Anderson as a human being despite her flaws? She has suffered much. From the NYT:
    “In May 2007, five months before Ms. Anderson entered her guilty plea, G.M. had conducted an internal review of the crash and quietly ruled its car was to blame, but never let Ms. Anderson or local law enforcement officials know. [Actually, it’s worse than that: GM lied to them.]

    After the crash on Nov. 15, 2004, Ms. Anderson’s parents liquidated their 401(k) to retain a lawyer to defend her. While a deal with prosecutors spared her jail time, she was on probation for five years and paid more than $10,000 in fines and restitution.

    She also suffered serious injuries in the accident, including a lacerated liver. But the guilt surrounding her own survival and her boyfriend’s death caused her more enduring pain, she said.

    When the hearing was over on Monday, Ms. Anderson, her family, and Mr. Erickson’s mother, Rhonda, went together for the first time to visit Mr. Erickson’s grave.”

    Increasingly, I am of the view that GM–and not just one engineer–acted like scum. Like they say in that salsa ad, Get a Rope.

  • avatar

    OK, let me see,

    Loaded, drives off the road, no skid marks, somewhere between when she started the car and when she ran into a tree the ignition switch moved away from the “on” position, airbags did not deploy.

    Scenario 1) She runs off the road high as a kite, in the bouncing as the car runs off the road the ignition switch moves.

    Scenario 2) As she is proceeding along the road in a reasonable and prudent manner (despite being high as a kite) suddenly, for no apparent reason, the ignition switch moves all the way from “on” to “lock” (at least two positions, maybe three) and locks the steering. Then, for some reason, she does not freak and slam on the brakes (maybe the aforementioned kite phenomenon), but instead continues off the road at her reasonable and prudent speed, until encountering a tree.

    I’m sorry but scenario (1) seems a lot more likely to me.

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