The New York Times reports in a front-page story on the 13 deaths â€œGeneral Motors has linked to an ignition switch defect that can cause a loss of power in cars,â€ noting that GM â€œhas refused to disclose the names of the victims or details of the accidents â€“ even to some survivors of the crashes and relatives of the dead.â€ According to an investigation by the Times, â€œ12 victims died in 10 separate accidents in nine states and Canada, the earliest on July 4, 2004, the latest less than a year ago, on June 22, 2013.â€ Victims â€œranged in age from a 13-year-old to an 81-year-old.â€ The Times notes that it â€œidentified the 12 victims by following the criteria G.M. has indicated in public statements and documents and by conferring with various people who have knowledge of the list, including safety regulators in the United States and Canada as well as elected officials.â€
GM raises number of crashes linked to ignition switches to 47
Bloomberg News reports that General Motors has revised its estimate of the number of car crashes connected â€œto small cars with defective ignition switches,â€ counting 47 cases, although still clarifying that the number of fatalities still stands at 13. The article notes that GM was commenting on a statement released before the weekend by acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman in which Friedman said, â€œThe final death toll associated with this safety defect is not known to NHTSA, but we believe itâ€™s likely that more than 13 lives were lost.â€
CNNâ€™s Money reported from its website, the old number of crashes connected to the ignition problem was 32. Also, GM calculates that fixing all the vehicles it has recalled, so far, in 2014 would cost $1.7 billion. In other words, the costs of fixing GMâ€™s recall problems â€œessentially erased the profit the company would have reported in the first quarter.â€
NHTSA documents show GM attorneys advised engineers to â€œcouch their reports in jargon.â€ The website Automotive News reported on an NHTSA-released document from May 16 that â€œshowed that engineersâ€ at GM â€œwere encouraged to couch their reports in jargon,â€ with the companyâ€™s lawyers claiming that it would be better â€œto write â€˜issueâ€™ instead of â€˜problem,â€™ and â€˜does not perform to designâ€™ instead of â€˜defect.â€™â€
NHTSA comments on death toll related to GM vehicle defects
The New York Times reports that acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman stated, â€œThe final death toll associated with this safety defect is not known to N.H.T.S.A., but we believe itâ€™s likely that more than 13 lives were lost,â€ although Friedman noted that that number would probably go up as GM works through various lawsuits and consumer complaints. Friedman further commented in a statement, â€œG.M. 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.â€
The Wall Street Journal reports that NHTSA is putting the onus of calculating the death toll on GM, although plaintiffs in wrongful deaths claims against GM are saying that the death toll is greater than 13.
Reuters reports that GM spokesperson Jim Cain responded to NHTSAâ€™s statement by commenting, â€œTo the best of our knowledge, there have been 13 fatalities that may be related to the ignition switch defect.â€ Cain added, â€œThatâ€™s after a thorough analysis of the information available to us. If we come across new information, of course, we will share it with the agency. Weâ€™re totally focused on fixing all of the cars as quickly as we can.â€
Barclays analyst: GM recalls may continue into summer
CBS News reports from its website that Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson said that GM â€œrecall announcements may continue through mid-summerâ€ after a meeting Johnson had with GM Executive Vice President Mark Reuss and Executive VP and CFO Chuck Stevens. Johnson continued, though, by noting that â€œdespite the ongoing recalls, the pace of sales in the U.S. appears steady.â€ The article also mentions DOTâ€™s $35 million fine leveled against GM last week for the ignition-switch-related recalls, which affected 2.6 million vehicles.
The Detroit Bureau reports, Johnson also stated, â€œIt is tough to say if recalls from past vehicles has already peaked, as the team has not yet completed mining the data,â€ further saying that â€œgiven the data-mining is being conducted on an issue by issue, and not on a make and model-year basis, it is possible that GM may issue further recalls for vehicles which have already been recalled.â€
The website of the Investor Place has similar coverage on the number of recalled vehicles, adding that the automaker is now also responsible for putting in place â€œsweeping changes to its internal review of safety-related issues.â€ According to the report, Federal rules stipulate that car manufacturers must give NHTSA notice â€œwithin five business days of determining that a safety-related defect exists.â€
GM recalls 500 pickups, SUVs for air bag issues
The AP reports that GM is adding â€œabout 500 pickup trucks and SUVsâ€ to its recall list for problems related to the air bag. This makes GMâ€™s â€œ30th recall so far this year,â€ the article points out, further noting that in 2014 the automaker â€œhas recalled more than 13.8 million vehicles in the U.S.â€
USA Today reports online that the affected models are from the 2014 and 2015 model years and are being recalled â€œbecause a supplier provided a potentially faulty part in the control module for the trucksâ€™ airbags.â€
GM, Delphi win delay of four Texas customer injury suits
Bloomberg News reports that GM and Delphi Automotive Systems LLC both received â€œa delay of four lawsuits by Texas customersâ€ for incidents related to recalled vehicles, after filing emergency requests with the Texas courts.
We believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldnâ€™t require more hardship. Thatâ€™s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. If you or a loved one has been affected by this recall, and you believe it caused an injury, contact Chhabra & Gibbs today by going to www.cglawms.com or by calling this number: 601-948-8005.