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GM’s Failure To Quickly Initiate Recall Likely Resulted in Additional Deaths

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Justin Chavez4 years ago

Last month, seven years after the death of teenager Amber Marie Rose, General Motors (GM) issued a recall of 1.6 million vehicles that potentially have the same malfunction that caused the airbags in her vehicle not to deploy.

Laura Christian, the victim's mother who now advocates for the reformation of laws governing car manufacturer's reports, told the Daily News how she was appalled that they waited so long to issue a recall. 

Faulty Airbag Likely Cost Amber Rose Her Life

In the 2004, Laura Christian reunited with her 15-year-old daughter that she had given up for adoption.

Unfortunately, their reunion was short-lived as Amber was tragically killed in an accident where her airbags failed to properly deploy. The failure of the airbags was discovered to be a severe defect in her 2005 Chevy Colbalt.

Christian was told by EMTs that her daughter would have survived had her airbags deployed successfully.

Details of the General Motors Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that they are now investigating whether GM should have issued the recall earlier.

The recall involves Colbalts, Pontiac G5s, Saturn Ion compacts, Chevrolet HHR SUVs, and Pontiac Solstices. The cars listed could have the same malfunction that led to Amber's death.

GM has said that a heavy key ring or jarring from driving on rough roads could both cause the defective ignition switches to move out of the run position, effectively shutting off the engine power and causing airbags not to deploy.

According to Christian, the ignition switch defect has caused as many as 35 deaths and over 1,200 accidents. Christian also warns that many more accidents could have been caused by defective ignition swithces, but not reported as such. 

Sen. Edward Markey has put the toll at 13 deaths and 17 injuries in his letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

GM has since stated that the delayed recall was due to the initial rate of problems not being high enough to warrant a recall. 


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