General Motors has officially linked 13 fatalities to its faulty ignition switches, but a new report suggests that number is much higher.
Reuters reports that at least 74 deaths can be linked to crashes that happened in General Motors vehicles under the ignition switch recall where the air bags didn’t deploy.
The news agency came to this conclusion after searching the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a national database that catalogs crash data from local law enforcement, for instances of single-car frontal collisions where the air bags didn’t deploy and the driver, front-seat passenger, or both died. Statistics for the Saturn Ion, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla were compared to try and identify a trend.
Both the GM cars registered the most fatal crashes per 100,000 cars sold, with the Ion leading the way at 5.9. The Cobalt registered 4.1 fatal crashes per 100,000 cars sold, while the Focus had 2.9, the Civic sits at 1.6 and finally the Corolla at 1.0.
Trouble is, the crashes can’t specifically be linked to the ignition switch because crash reports don’t include that data. Acting NHTSA administrator David Strickland said previously that “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.”
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