More than 4,300 Americans to Be Killed or Injured by GM and Chrysler Cars, Study Shows
While both would be responsible for launching recalls and repairing defects in their current fleet, they would not be responsible for injuries and deaths caused by those defects.
"Combined, GM and Chrysler have a disproportionate share of the claims," said Sean Kane, president and CEO of Safety Research & Strategies, "And there is every reason to conclude that the injury and death rates will continue. But the claims will disappear and that will impact the rate of GM and Chrysler recalls and public safety in the future."
The victims of a defective Chrysler or GM product will not be able to recover any financial loss. The lack of death and injury claims will also lead to fewer recalls for the vehicles built before their Chapter 11 filings, which means a decrease in public safety.
"Automakers and NHTSA use death and injury data to monitor and recall defective vehicles," Kane added. "If the claims aren't filed, we lose an important defect surveillance tool. And if the companies bear no liability for deaths and injuries caused by the uncorrected defects, what incentive do they have to recall?"
The data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), revealed an annual average of 636 (for Chrysler) and 2,779 (for GM) individual death and injuries.
Covering 38 percent of the market share, GM and Chrysler accounted for 47 percent of all claims filed against auto manufacturers, and it looks like it will continue to cause deaths and injuries long after the companies emerge as entities.