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Mounting Problems for GM-Review of Crash Data Shows 303 Deaths due to Faulty Air Bags

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The controversy surrounding General Motors is heating up after a review of federal crash data points to 303 deaths due to faulty air bags in two GM models that were recalled in February 2014.

Federal prosecutors are already investigating GM’s alleged failure to notify consumers of a faulty ignition switch long before issuing a recall. The recall affects over 1 million vehicles in the U.S.

GM Issues Recall for Faulty Ignition Switch-Too Late?

General Motors recalled 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars model years 2005-2007 on February 13th, 2014. At this time the company said weight on a key ring, road conditions and even jarring events could cause the ignition switch to trigger the engine and electrical components in the car to turn off. There were reports of 5 front-impact crashes and 6 front-seat fatalities where airbags did not deploy.

GM expanded the recall on February 25th, 2014 of 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuits sold in Canada only to include 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, the 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, and 2007 Saturn Sky models. 31 crashes were reported, which included 13 front-seat fatalities due to the faulty ignition switch.

Consumer Group Commissions Review of Federal Crash Data

The Center for Auto Safety, a private watchdog group, issued a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 13th, 2014 citing the NHTSA’s failure to detect failed air bags and the faulty ignition switch. The study of the federal crash data, conducted by Friedman Research Corporation, found 303 front-seat deaths in recalled 2005-2007 Cobalts and 2003-2007 Ions.

Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety, Clarence Ditlow, wrote, “NHTSA could and should have initiated a defect investigation to determine why airbags were not deploying in Cobalts and Ions in increasing numbers.”

Ditlow wrote that the NHTSA claimed they didn’t see a “defect trend,” and therefore “did not do an investigation.”

“Internal Miscues” Led to Delay in Recall

General Motors allegedly knew about the faulty ignition switch for 10 years. GM claims it was due to “a series of internal miscues.” GM hired its own attorneys to investigate.

If you or a loved one were in a crash involving one of the recalled GM models you should contact an attorney. You may be eligible for compensation.