By NUBIA REYNA and LAURA B. MARTINEZ | The Brownsville Herald

Two families involved in a two-vehicle accident that left a grandmother and her two grandchildren dead have sued a local auto shop and General Motors in a wrongful death lawsuit alleging they sold a defective tire to one of the families.

Maria Guadalupe Zamora, 49, and her grandchildren, Ariel Castillo, 2, and Reynaldo Alvarado, 6, both of Port Isabel, died from injuries they received in the Sept. 2, 2020 accident on FM 803 north of St. Francis Street in Los Fresnos.

The Texas Department of Public said Zamora, who was driving a gray Dodge Magnum, was traveling south on FM 803 when her vehicle was hit head-on by a black GMC Yukon, operated by a female driver, that was heading north.

Authorities reported that the left tire on the Yukon driven by Griselda Calixto blew out which caused the driver to lose control and veer head-on into the other vehicle.

According to the lawsuit, GM’s tire pressure monitoring system in Calixto’s vehicle was defective and failed to warn her of tire pressure problems. “Without any warning from the Yukon’s TPM system – the left rear tire on the GMC Yukon experienced a deflation event and blowout. Neither driver had time to react.”

“GM is aware of these defects. They have published several technical service bulletins concerning these very defects since 2009, but have never issued a recall,” a portion of the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit is filed by the Zamora and Calixto families.

The owner of El Guero Auto Parts and Auto Sales in Los Fresnos – which is named in the lawsuit – said she did not sell the tire to Calixto. Veronica de la Garza said Thursday they don’t even carry the aluminum cast wheel that was said to be defective and that she told this to attorney’s inquiring about the case.

A spokesman for General Motors said since he did not have information on the lawsuit he could not comment at this time.

The families are seeking unspecified damages.

The law offices of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto Aziz & Stogner, Karam Law and Jesus Contreras are representing the families.