July 23, 2014 / 9:11 PM / 5 years ago

GM details 19 fatal crashes in cars recalled for deadly switches

DETROIT, July 23 (Reuters) - General Motors Co provided federal safety regulators with new details on 19 fatal crashes involving three older models recalled this year for defective ignition switches, according to data made public Wednesday.

One of the entries matches up with the December 2013 crash of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that killed 32-year-old Aubrey Williams.

In March, Williams’ father, Steve Smith, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama state court against GM and Delphi Automotive, which supplied the ignition switch used in the Cobalt. Smith is a former employee of Delphi.

The vehicles in the crashes detailed on Wednesday included the Cobalt, the Chevrolet HHR and the Saturn Ion, all of which were recalled in February for defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

The new information was provided by GM to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and posted on Wednesday to NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting (EWR) database.

The new data was sent to the NHTSA in the first quarter and covers fatal crashes that date as far back as 2009.

The EWR entries do not list crash victims’ names and do not directly link the crashes to ignition switches. Instead, they list “reported components” that could be contributing factors to the crash.

The Alabama crash lists “electrical” as a potential factor.

The Cobalt, HHR and Ion were included in the earlier recall of 2.6 million GM cars because the ignition switches could be accidentally turned off, cutting electrical power to the engine, power steering and air bags.

The new EWR data lists air bags, steering or electrical issues as “reported components” in all but two of the fatal Cobalt, HHR and Ion crashes.

GM told NHTSA in the first quarter it had reports of at least 14 fatal crashes and 15 deaths in the Cobalt for model years 2005-2009. It also had reports of three deaths in three crashes of the 2007 HHR, as well as two deaths in two crashes of the 2005-2006 Ion. (Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit)

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