GM Recall: Most Victims Were Young, CEO To Be Grilled By Lawmakers

GM recall victims are young

The latest GM recall keeps growing and now 1.3 million additional vehicles are part of the ignition switch problem that has the motor giant in deep trouble.

As the analysis of the deaths caused by the faulty part are revealed, the data shows that most of those killed when the power to their engines was cut, were young.

Because of the fact that the GM recall affects compact cars, it is logical to think that those behind the wheel of these vehicles were young people with limited driving experience and the inability to control a car that had unexpected mechanical problems.

GM cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion are marketed to youngsters, perhaps as a first car for a teen that just got their driver license and popular with parents because of their affordability.

But in some instances the decision to buy these particular vehicles resulted in tragedy.

General Motors says 13 people have been killed in accidents directly related to the vehicles that are part of their recall, but advocate groups claim the numbers are much higher.

The GM recall was prompted by faulty ignition switches that can turn off the power in a vehicle while it is in motion, causing power steering and power brakes to be lost, plus failure of the air bags to deploy in a crash.

Experts say that a young driver would tend to panic with the extra effort needed to control the car in a sudden power failure because of their lack of experience.

As reported by The Inquisitr on March 14, watchdog groups such as the Center for Auto Safety, say that up to 303 people have been killed in accidents related to the million car GM recall.

Not only were the majority of those killed under the age of 25, but many were female and experts say that women don’t have enough upper body strength to safely control the car and take it to the side of the road.

GM is also accused of covering up the facts and knowing — as far back as 2001 — about the faulty ignition switches. The recall was only announced on February 13, 2014.

GM CEO Mary Barra — who took over the post on January 15 — will no doubt be grilled on Tuesday, when she appears before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and answers questions about why it took her company more than 10-years to recognize the problem.

Some were lucky and were able to walk away from GM vehicles involved in the recall as is the case for Kelly Bard, from Wasau, Wisconsin, who at 16 bought a brand new 2004 Ion, but soon thereafter started having problems with her car.

Her GM Ion began stalling for no reason and it became difficult to steer. The key would slip out while on the “run” position:

“At the time, it really had high safety ratings,” she remembers. “It had good gas mileage, and it was what we could afford.”

“It went from being able to steer with two fingers to using all of my ability to pull off and keep away from the intersection and get out of oncoming traffic,” said Bard, now 26.

After numerous trips to the GM dealership, two very scary near misses in which her car stalled in an interstate on ramp and while turning left in front of an on-coming truck, she refused to drive her Ion until it was proven to be safe.

As soon as she graduated from college and got a job, Bard got rid of the GM Ion and got a Honda.

In 2005 GM informed dealers of the problems with the ignition switches, but did not do a recall since they believed the driver could still steer and brake the car.

GM’s problems only have gotten worse following the delayed recall and the manufacturing giant now faces three separate investigations, including a criminal probe.

For a complete list of all vehicles affected by the GM recall go here.

[Image via LouLouPhotos / Shutterstock.com]