As GM's ignition switch recall saga continues to unfold, one Wisconsin family is angry GM did not count its daughter as a victim of a Chevy Cobalt's faulty systems.
"Ken Rimer of Wisconsin says he lost his 18-year-old stepdaughter Natasha in another crash where her 15-year-old friend Amy Rademaker also died, but says GM only counts the accident as one fatality." (Via WJBK)
That's because GM contends the failed deployment of the air bags would not have protected Rimer's stepdaughter Natasha Wiegel anyway.
The Detroit News reports Wiegel was in the backseat of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, not wearing a seatbelt, when in October 2006 when the car ran off a rural Wisconsin road and struck a telephone pole and some trees. GM says it's only liable for Wiegel's friend Amy because she was sitting in the front passenger seat. (Via CBS)
The failed deployment of the air bags is just one of the side effects of a defective ignition switch. Consumer Reports says the switch basically can turn a car on or off.
"So, someone's knee can hit it or actually even the extra weight of a keychain can actually turn the engine off and when that happens you could lose power steering, you could cause a crash." (Via Consumer Reports)
GM announced the recall of those faulty ignition switches in February, but paperwork filed in a lawsuit says the company knew about the defective part for roughly 10 years. (Via National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
The automaker has since compiled a list of 13 people it believes are victims of the faulty ignition switches. But the executive director for the Center for Auto Safety contends that number could be much higher.
"Just looking at the early warning reports on death and injury claims filed by General Motors and DCFS, there has to be at least 500 deaths and injuries associated with the ignition switch defect." (Via NBC)
Family members of the victims and their supporters protested at GM's headquarters Monday in light of the company's annual shareholders meeting.