GM ignition death count now at 16 image

The ongoing safety crisis over the debacle made with the late recalls over faulty ignition switches took another turn for the worse, as the company raised its accidents toll to 61 and the fatality count to 16.

The February recall of 2.6 million cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ion has been linked by GM to 54 crashes and 13 deaths – although many detractors say the count is gravely underestimated by the company.

Yesterday the automaker announced another recall that spans across 8.23 million (most of them old cars) that are linked to the same ignition switch defect and have so far caused the loss of another three lives. The automaker acknowledges now 61 crashes linked to the faulty part, while US lawmakers and safety regulators all warn the number of injuries and deaths could rise.

“Among these recalled vehicles, GM is aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities,” GM said in a statement. “The fatal crashes occurred in older model full-size sedans being recalled for inadvertent ignition key rotation. There is no conclusive evidence that the defect condition caused those crashes.”

GM spokesperson Jim Cain said the three deaths occurred in two separate high-speed accidents, one involving a 2003 Chevrolet Impala and the second a 2004 Impala – with both cases having non deployment of airbags.

Via Reuters