May 28, 2014 at 12:02 AM
(NEW YORK) -- General Motors has said that 13 people were killed in 47 crashes related to the faulty ignition switch issue that forced multiple recalls earlier this year, but a federal agency believes the actual number could be significantly higher.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acting head David Friedman released a statement on Tuesday in which he confirmed that the agency believes the death toll will grow. "The final death toll associated with this safety defect is not known to NHTSA," Friedman said, "but we believe it's likely that more than 13 lives were lost."
Friedman also pointed out that, "GM knew about the safety defect, but did not act to protect Americans from that defect until this year." Family members of those who were killed in crashes caused by the ignition switch problem, "deserve straight answer about what happened," Friedman declared.
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