NHTSA says more than 13 deaths ‘likely’ in GM ignition switch recall case

The U.S. National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration believes there are more deaths associated to GM’s ignition switch recall case.

According to Reuters via Automotive News, NHTSA spokesman Jim Cain says GM recently told regulators it found about a dozen additional collisions associated with the recall, up from the previous 35, but it stood by its original fatality count.

In light of this development, the NHTSA told Reuters last week that “the final death toll associated with this safety defect is not known to the NHTSA, but we believe it’s likely more than 13 lives were lost.”

The NHTSA went on to add it would be up to GM to determine additional cases related to the ignition switch recall based on data from its lawsuits, incident claims and input from customers, dealers and insurance companies.

This isn’t the first time a U.S. safety regulator claims there are additional fatalities relating to the recall. In March, the Centre for Auto Safety commissioned a report that found 303 possible deaths linked to collisions where airbags failed to deploy in certain Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion models.

At this point, roughly 2.6 million vehicles from 2003 to 2010 have been affected by the ignition switch recall. Those models include the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, the Pontiac G5 and Solstice, and the Saturn Ion and Sky.

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