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In wake of G.M. recall, NHTSA faces criticism

The United States is home to many car manufacturing companies that sell both within the country and internationally. Nashville residents probably feel quite secure in the fact that, in the event that some vehicles are found to have a dangerous defect such as a defective airbag or seatbelt, federal agencies will step in to ensure that these issues are dealt with quickly and effectively. When there are allegations that both a prolific car manufacturer and a federal safety agency did not meet up to consumers' safety expectations, it can bring on a flurry of lawsuits.

On the heels of mounting allegations that GM inappropriately endangered its customers, consumer watchdog groups are turning their sights on the federal agencies that are supposed to investigate auto defects and inform the public about dangerous products. One such organization, the Center for Auto Safety, is criticizing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to discover GM's defects sooner. The NHTSA asserts that there had not been enough indicators to pursue an investigation earlier.

The Center for Auto Safety recently commissioned a study that states 303 deaths resulted from failed air bags in GM vehicles. The study did not determine why the crashes occurred, but focused only on instances in which deaths resulted from failed air bag deployment. GM admits that 12 deaths have some connection to its defective ignition switches, but claims that no conclusions can be drawn from the study.

If you believe a family member's death can be attributed to a negligent car manufacturer, you may wish to discuss the issue with an attorney.

Source: The New York Times, "303 Deaths Seen in G.M. Cars With Failed Air Bags," Danielle Ivory and Hilary Stout, Mar. 13, 2014

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