By on May 27, 2014


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.

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10 Comments on “GM Raises Accident Total Linked To Ignition Recall To 47...”

  • avatar

    Still so insignificant that this shouldn’t be an issue. Clearly there are forces out to “get” GM. This should have never become the issue it has. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill…

    • 0 avatar

      Z71_Silvy, give it time. Before very long GM will link the number of documented accidents to well over 300.

      Several years back, the tire blowouts, roll-overs and flip-overs on Explorers were deemed as insignificant, at first, until various law-enforcement agencies started whipping out their documentation of accidents, and lo and behold, Ford brought out a new IRS, post haste!

      Amazing how that IRS reduced the number of roll-overs.

      And then there were the punctured gas tanks on Crown Vics, et al, during rear-end collisions. Insignificant, until they added up the number of cops incinerated by their own patrol cars when someone ran into the rear end of the cruiser.

      The list goes on, but that’s all old news. The ignition switch recall is still new, and there will be more revelations in weeks to come. Wait until the law suits start. The stuff revealed will be interesting. It always is, when people have been killed, maimed or wounded because of their faulty vehicle.

      Think back to the trumped-up campaign against Toyota and the SUA. What a fraud! That was proven to be untrue, but with the ignition switch recall, no one knows what will still be revealed, until it’s over. And it’s far from over.

      • 0 avatar

        I generally agree – but fatality count will likely be very hard to connect at best.

        I’m still surprised the GM W-bodies haven’t been added to this yet. This was an area of complaint on the 2004+ models with their dash mounted ignitions.

        On the flip side, cars lose power every single day, and not just from the key moving from run to accessory. People run out of gas – every day. Engines have mechanical and electronic failures – every day.

        This is way more common than say a stuck accelerator pedal in the big scheme of things. Drivers experience complete loss of engine power (and with it power steering and power brakes) every single day – across all makes/models.

        Of the 14 connected fatalities almost all of them involve drugs, alcohol, excessive speed and in one incident a successful suicide attempt by car. In that particular incident, there are serious questions that the force of impact essentially turned the key, and that it was not the root cause of the accident itself (and given the drivers intent…what does it matter)

        The bigger question for this (and the Toyota recalls for that matter) is where does one realistically draw the line between corporate vs. personal accountability.

        • 0 avatar

          APaGttH, Once a manufacturer is down, everybody jumps on the bandwagon to screw them. That’s the way it was in the past, and that is the way it is now, and will be forever more in the future.

          In America no one is ever responsible for their own actions. It is always some one else fault.

          And so it is with GM’s ignition switch recall, Toyota’s trumped-up SUA indictment, GM’s saddlebag gas tanks, the Pinto debacle, the Crown Vic self-immolation tendencies after a rear-end crash, and on and on and on.

          This is not to say that manufacturers are totally without fault. This is to say that in America’s system of justice it is always better to punish the innocent rather than let a guilty party go free.

          Plenty of precedence for that in America’s prisons and overturned convictions.

          Trouble with companies is that even though they are considered “people” according to the law, they really are not people at all and as such no apology or reparation is owed to them in the case of justice miscarried.

        • 0 avatar

          I was waiting for that shoe to drop too, for W or G-body. Thus far GM’s legacy platforms have held up better than the newer ones.

  • avatar

    Hat tip to oboylepr, who brought this to my attention. The definitive report on GM’s recall storm:

  • avatar

    Is TTAC going to run a story on the ongoing investigation, criminal felony convictions, and the global wide auto part pricing collusion that is said to have cost US consumers $330 million in inflated prices, sometimes incredibly inflated prices on parts?

    Dozens of convictions of executives in Japan, Australia, and the United States – careers ruined – and a now widening investigation on the frightening scope of anti-trust violations.

    Fox News ran a really interesting story over the weekend on this ongoing issue that has fleeced consumers, stifled innovation, and put companies out of business.

    I mean I get this involves a long list of Japanese part suppliers…but maybe, just maybe readers would be interested in the screw job the DOJ and SEC has uncovered when their investigation started four years ago? The unprecedented cooperation with their peers in other countries? The use of different strategies to get guilty pleas out of what typical are teflon coated executives?

  • avatar

    All I can see is Congressional Testimony and one of the Congress-critters asking: “Um… Ms. Barra, how many accidents have been linked to this defect?”

    (Mary leans into the microphone and says): “30.” (Corporate lawyer leans over and whispers in her ear.)

    “Excuse me senator – 47.”

  • avatar

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