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Report Links Recalled GM Vehicles to 74 Deaths

Destiny Baker3 years ago

A new report has found that at least 74 people have died in recalled General Motors vehicles in accidents sharing key similarities to those that GM has linked to 13 deaths as part of their defective ignition switch recall.

About the General Motors Fatal Accident Analysis

As part of their analysis, Reuters searched the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for single-car frontal collision in which front air bags did not deploy and either the driver or a front-seat passenger was killed.

The news agency then broke down the data to determine how many of these accidents involved Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions and compared that data against records for the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla.

Reuters found that the frequency of these types of accidents involving the Saturn Ion was nearly six times that of the Toyota Corolla and twice that of the Ford Focus.

Further, the analysis showed that the 45 front-seat fatalities had occurred in Cobalt crashes in which airbags did not deploy, and 29 front-seat fatalities were linked to Ion crashes.

The data seems to confirm 2011 research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which suggested that the Cobalt and Ion are “less crashworthy” than similar vehicle models.

Reuters did not include backseat fatalities in their final count.

GM Internal Investigation Report Expected This Week

GM hired attorney Anton Valukas to conduct an internal investigation into the defective ignition switches last month. His final report is expected sometime this week.

Documents suggest that General Motors knew of problems with the faulty switches in 2001, but failed to issue a recall for the vehicles until February 2014.

Further, evidence obtained by Congress shows that a GM engineer, Ray DeGiorgo, signed off on a part redesign in 2006 but did not change the part number or report the redesign to regulators.

During a 2013 deposition, that same engineer testified that he was unaware of any defects that could have contributed to a 2005 Chevy Cobalt crash that claimed the life of a young woman.

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