A private organization in the United States indicated that more than 300 people have died due to a defect that cancels the activation of front airbags in General Motors vehicles.
The Center for automotive safety commissioned the study to the company Friedman Research, which analyzed road safety information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about failures of these devices between 2003 and 2012.
According to this organization, which criticized the official body for ignoring its own statistics, the number of deaths may be higher because the research only focused on two models of the company.
Last month, General Motors announced that it called to review more than 1,600,000 vehicles because of faults with the ignition switch, but the automaker has only been linked to 12 deaths caused by the defective air bags in two of its models, the Chevrolet Cobalt from 2005 to 2007 and Saturn Ions from 2003 to 2007.
The NHTSA, the Department of Justice, Congress and the company have started investigations to determine why the automaker took more than one decade to recall the vehicles concerned if complaints with the ignition switch have been repeated in the last few years.
A spokesman for General Motors said that the study by the Center for automotive safety is not rigorous and their conclusions are pure speculation.
With respect to the failure in the ignition system, the company had already indicated that an error in the design of vehicles allows the key to be placed in an off position involuntarily.
This can happen if the ignition key is subject to a keychain too heavy or if the vehicle travels through rugged terrain.
In these circumstances, automobile air bags stop working.