by: Jim Strickland Updated:ATLANTA, Ga. —
Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland has found evidence that GM knows of more deaths than it has admitted to in its recall announcement involving an ignition problem with the Chevrolet Cobalt and other vehicles.
The company’s Feb. 25 recall release states as follows: “The expanded recall population raises the number of reported incidents involving frontal crashes, in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the non-deployment of the frontal airbags, to 31 involving 13 front-seat fatalities.”
As hers was a side-impact crash, the death of 29-year-old Paulding County nurse Brooke Melton in 2010 is not included in the totals. Amy Rademaker,15, of St. Croix County, Wisconsin is not counted either because she was a back seat occupant. A GM spokesman did not dispute Strickland’s findings.
“The fatalities we list in our recalls involve front-seat occupants,” said spokesman Alan Adler.
The Center for Auto Safety sent a letter to the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requesting an internal agency investigation into its handling of the Cobalt episode. GM CEO Mary barra has pledged an internal review at her company.