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Four Deaths Linked to Recalled Saturn Ions

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Jarod Cassidy4 years ago

Documents released by General Motors (GM) show that the company has positively identified four deaths linked to defective ignition switches found in 2003 to 2007 Saturn Ions.

Saturn Ion Airbags Failed to Deploy

According to a letter filed by General Motors with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 11, at least four deaths have been linked to defective ignition switches found in the recalled Saturn Ions.

Addressed to Ms. Nancy Lewis, Associate Administrator for Enforcement with the NHTSA, General Motors chronicles the discovery of faulty ignition switches that resulted in February’s recall of roughly 1.6 million vehicles and the numerous internal investigations into the defect.

While the documents show that the link between the faulty ignition switch and the fatal Saturn Ion accidents was made in 2014, it also indicates that the company failed to identify the accidents during a 2012 investigation.

In total, eight frontal collisions in which faulty ignition switches likely caused or contributed to airbag failure were discovered. Beyond the four fatalities, six other injuries were reported.

About the General Motors Ignition Switch Recall

  • On February 13, General Motors announced that it was recalling 780,000 Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles.
  • Days later, GM extended the recall to cover five other models bringing the total number of recalled vehicles to over 1.6 million.
  • So far, 33 frontal collisions in which airbags failed to deploy and 13 deaths have been linked to the recalled vehicles.
  • Though the recall was not initiated until this year, court depositions suggest that GM knew of the issue as early as 2004 after an engineer experienced the problem while test driving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt.
  • Multiple federal agencies and congressional committees are investigating GM in regards to their handling of the defect and the recall. 


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