As General Motors maintains 13 individuals lost their lives behind the wheel of vehicles affected by the February 2014 ignition switch recall, the automaker has boosted the total number of accidents related to the recall from 30 to 47.
The Detroit News reports the updated figure was one of the answers to the survey issued to GM by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration weeks ago, asking why the automaker had waited so long to recall the defective part. The fatality figure, however, may go up when the agency presents its findings to GM soon:
The final death toll associated with this safety defect is not known to NHTSA, but we believe it’s likely that more than 13 lives were lost. GM would be in the position to determine additional cases related directly to this defect based on lawsuits, incident claims and additional data reported directly to the automaker from its customers, dealerships, insurance companies, safety groups and other sources.
The fatality figure is also considered low by a number of attorneys and safety advocates, including Texas attorney Bob Hilliard and Center for Auto Safety director Clarence Ditlow. While Ditlow believes the number could go up or down once the NHTSA finishes their investigation, and bases his claims on information gathered in March 2014 from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Hilliard believes the automaker itself is intentionally “low-balling” said fatality numbers.