Researcher Links 303 Deaths To G.M. Cars With Failed Airbags

By on March 14, 2014

The Friedman Research Corporation, a vehicle safety data researcher, concluded that 303 died after air bags failed to deploy on G.M. cars on models recalled by G.M. in February 2014.

Last month, G.M. recalled more than 1.6 million cars globally to fix a defective ignition switch that caused cars to turn off while driven, even at highway speeds. Airbags, along with other safety systems, do not work if power is cut.

The recall sparked federal and state investigations into whether G.M. acted appropriately. Investigators are also looking into whether the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acted properly in light of numerous complaints about the issue sent to the agency by drivers.

G.M. disputes the Friedman conclusions, and claims its own analysis shows that the ignition issue is linked to 31 accidents and 12 deaths.

The models recalled by G.M. as a result of this issue are, to date:

  • 2005-7 Chevrolet Cobalts and 2007 Pontiac G5;
  • 2003-7 Saturn Ion;
  • 2006-7 Chevrolet HHR and Pontiac Solstice; and
  • 2007 Saturn Sky.