GM Is Super Sorry It Sent Recall Notices To Families Of Crash Victims

By this point, most owners of recalled General Motors vehicles don’t need a notice from the car maker to know their ignition switches need work. One group of people who definitely don’t need reminding of this fact are the families of those who died in crashes tied to the ignition defect.

But since there are so many — around 2.6 million — recall notices being sent out about this problem, GM didn’t think to not send notices to people who lost loved ones when the ignition switches in Chevy Cobalts and other cars failed, disabling the engine, power steering and power brakes, and the airbags.

Reuters reports that the mother of a teenager who died in a 2005 accident in her Chevy Cobalt recently received two notices asking her to bring in the vehicle — which was destroyed in the crash — for repairs to the ignition and brakes.

The mom tells Reuters that it shouldn’t have been too difficult for GM to not send automated notices to the families of the 13 people acknowledged by the company to have died in ignition-related crashes.

“We are deeply sorry to those families who received a recall notice,” a rep for GM tells Reuters.

This PR oopsy comes in the wake of a statement by the acting head of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that there are likely more accidents tied to the ignition defect than the current 47 known incidents, and that the death toll is likely higher than believed.

Earlier this week, a Reuters analysis of federal crash data for Cobalts and Ions showed these vehicles were significantly more likely than comparable cars to be involved in fatal crashes in which the airbags didn’t deploy.

The news agency figures that as many as 74 people died in such incidents between 2003 and 2012, though it’s currently impossible to say if all of those crashes were related to an ignition failure.