The 13 acknowledged fatalities linked to defective ignition switches in General Motors cars may only be the beginning of the true death toll caused by the automaker, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The faulty switch can cause a sudden loss of engine power and deactivate air bags in Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small cars. G.M. began recalling 2.6 million cars only after 13 deaths and 32 accidents tied to this defect, even though the automaker knew of the problem as early as 2001.

G.M. has now recalled more than 13.5 million vehicles nationwide this year, as compared to nearly 758,000 recalls in 2013.

“G.M. would be in the position to determine additional cases related directly to this defect based on lawsuits, incident claims and additional data reported directly to the automaker from its customers, dealerships, insurance companies, safety groups and other sources,” said David Friedman, the acting chief of the N.H.T.S.A. Read the full details here:

Agency Expects More Deaths From G.M.’s Ignition Flaw

G.M. continues to exhibit a disturbing disregard for the rights and safety of the public as the clear product liability issue continues to see a rise in the death toll. Even if G.M. and Chevrolet are now showing remorse for the deaths of individuals who purchased cars with faulty ignition switches, the reality is, without personal injury lawyers who refused to give up this issue, none of this would have ever come to light.

If you or a family member believe you have a product liability case, contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free case evaluation. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.