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I know there has been a significant amount of grumbling to outrage on this board about failed airbag seat switches, but was just wondering.. Has anyone bothered to contact or write the NTSB about the issue? Given all the high profile aspects of the ignition switch debacle affecting air bag performance, it seems like the time couldn't be better to add this issue to the pile-on. GM may be seemingly more likely to react when the NTSB brings it to their attention, than just a customer complaining on an Internet discussion board.
 

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I know there has been a significant amount of grumbling to outrage on this board about failed airbag seat switches, but was just wondering.. Has anyone bothered to contact or write the NTSB about the issue? Given all the high profile aspects of the ignition switch debacle affecting air bag performance, it seems like the time couldn't be better to add this issue to the pile-on. GM may be seemingly more likely to react when the NTSB brings it to their attention, than just a customer complaining on an Internet discussion board.

Yes, I have contacted them twice and received as much response as the several times I contacted GM. I believe that others on the forum have also.

It's a shame that GM seems to ignore any Kappa specific problems, they only addressed the ignition switch problem because it was part of a larger campaign. IMHO
 

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Gotta point out, the thread title is pretty misleading. I know it came directly from the article but it's pretty sensational and not really accurate. The car didn't cause the accident. The driver had an accident and the air bags did not go off. If she hadn't crashed in the first place...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, it says the swerved off the road and hit a tree. I think they are blaming the crash on the faulty ignition switch which and that lead to the airbags not working.
 

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My take: She was convicted because she was taking Xanax (aka driving while impaired) and crashed her car. When she crashed the airbag did not deploy because the ignition moved to the accessory position. If the airbag had deployed it MAY have saved her unbelted passenger. If it was in accessory before the crash she would have lost the electric power steering, but she would have still had a manual rack. Still not a lot of sympathy from me, but I am kind of an a-hole like that.

Wall Street Journal article below:

By Jeff Bennett
Updated Nov. 24, 2014 2:58 p.m. ET

A Texas woman who pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and has lived the past 10 years believing she killed her fiancé in a car accident had her conviction set aside hours after General Motors Co. confirmed the vehicle she was driving was among those recalled for a faulty ignition switch.

Judge Teresa Drum cleared Candice Anderson of the death of Gene Erickson, 25 years old, Monday during a hearing in Van Zandt County, Texas. Hours before, a GM attorney sent an email to her lawyer saying “the crash involving Ms. Anderson is one in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the frontal air bag non-deployment in the accident.”

This was the first time GM publicly linked the accident to the ignition-switch flaw. Earlier this year, the auto maker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the death was among 13 fatalities it attributed to the ignition-switch flaw. However, the information was never released to the public.

“This is a day that will change my life and my future,” Ms. Anderson, 31, said when contacted by telephone. “I have had to experience all of these different emotions all these years and they have scared me. This helps lift the weight off my shoulders.”

GM recalled 2.5 million vehicles earlier this year after determining that too much weight on or a jarring of the ignition key can move the ignition switch from “run” to “accessory,” thereby cutting the electrical circuit to the air bags and power steering.

On Nov. 15, 2004, Ms. Anderson was driving her 2004 Saturn Ion down a Texas road when she lost control and hit a tree. She and Mr. Erickson weren’t wearing seat belts at the time. A subsequent police investigation found Ms. Anderson had a trace amount of Xanax in her system. She was later indicted by a grand jury but she agreed to a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide. Ms. Anderson was fined and sentenced to five years’ probation.

“Candice Anderson has lived with this wrongful conviction for too long,” her attorney, Bob Hilliard, said. Ms. Anderson said she has no plans at this time to pursue GM legally, although she may make a claim with the auto maker’s compensation fund. “I am ready to move forward,” she said.

GM said in a statement the issues being discussed in this case “are for local law enforcement and the courts to consider, and in a courtroom they are separate issues from the performance of the vehicle. That’s why we have taken a neutral position on Ms. Anderson’s case. It is appropriate for the court to determine the legal status of Ms. Anderson.”

Meanwhile, the GM ignition-switch compensation fund increased the official death toll to 35 people. Compensation expert Ken Feinberg is reviewing the claims and determining which are eligible. The fund had received 225 death claims as of Friday. A total of 33 were declared ineligible, 77 are deficient, 29 are under review and 51 have no supporting documentation. The fund has also confirmed 49 serious injuries.

Separately, Honda Motor Co. said it failed to report 1,729 death and injury incidents to U.S. regulators in an 11-year period as results of an internal audit exposed lapses in its ability to meet federal reporting requirements and identify safety problems with its own vehicles. The figure more than doubles the actual number of deaths and injuries involving its vehicles, bringing the total during this period to more than 2,843—far more than the 1,114 it had initially reported to the NHTSA, the auto maker disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday.

—Christina Rogers contributed to this article.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well, I must admit I real bad about NOT reading things completely before responding. Credit this to an extremely low attention span when there's not any pictures of cars, motorcycles, boobs or guns.

Very interesting info though. So basically she was bar'd out, fell asleep, crashed her car and GM is taking the fall. Thanks for clarifying Scott. Maybe if Johnny Cochran was still alive, he could have gotten her off scott free :)
 

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This is crazy. Everybody knows it is all Libby Dole's fault for not mandating that a car's airbags must deploy whenever it runs into a tree at 35+ MPH whether the engine is running or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I always thought they would go off regardless. I've always been paranoid about working on suspension or anything where I might use a hammer so I've always disconnected the neg batt terminal.
 

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Granted the air bags are supposed to work, but IMHO, there is a reason they're called a 'supplemental safety feature', not a primary safety feature. Ultimately air bags aren't supposed to be an alternative to safe driving, including DWI as some who were in fatal accidents and part the original GM ignition switch incidents. Now the air bags that fire metal shrapnel into your face, even in a fender bender? That's some scary $hit. I saw this one poor woman who lost an eye and had some very severe facial damage from a relatively minor accident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah Kelly, I somewhat remember hearing someone say: If the crash doesn't kill you, the airbags will. If not from the explosion then long term from breathing in the powder.

My son got side swiped in his truck and 3 airbags went off, I drove it home after the cops left and I had severe asthma attacks for about 2 weeks afterwards. Some nasty sh1t for sure.
 

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I'm not overly sympathetic here. Driver sounds like she may have been under the influence at the time of the accident. Passenger wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Yes GM is to blame for the airbag not going off but looks like every party involved had an equal hand in this young man losing his life. I'm sympathetic to the sorry that loss brings, but can't be sympathetic to the parties involved who feel bad for the role they played in the accident.
 

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On Nov. 15, 2004, Ms. Anderson was driving her 2004 Saturn Ion down a Texas road when she lost control and hit a tree. (Did she lose control because the ignition switched off her car?) She and Mr. Erickson weren’t wearing seat belts at the time. A subsequent police investigation found Ms. Anderson had a trace amount of Xanax in her system. She was later indicted by a grand jury but she agreed to a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide. Ms. Anderson was fined and sentenced to five years’ probation.
I was under the assumption that the ignition failed, she lost control of the vehicle and then plowed into a tree..
I DO however blame them both for not wearing the primary safety feature...SEAT BELTS!!!

I have been wearing seat belts way before it was mandated mandatory by law..
IMHO the "trace amounts" of Xanax was NOT a contributing factor, that drug was already worn off IMO..
 

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Not to be insensitive (not that it's stopped me before), but the press and families are always quick to place blame on an inanimate object, missing the fact that the vehicle can't operate itself. That being said; I can't imagine the loss of a child or loved one in an auto accident. The irony that escapes the press, is that in most of the accidents related to ignition switch movement, are actually caused by crashing the car at a high rate of speed while not using the primary driver and passenger restraints. As TX08 said, air bags are more dangerous than not, if not used with seat belts. One of the original incidents involved a Chevy Cobalt, underage drinking, not wearing seat belts and a large tree. Seeing the photo of that particular car post-crash, I see it unlikely that anyone would have survived, air bags or no.
 

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I was under the assumption that the ignition failed, she lost control of the vehicle and then plowed into a tree..
I DO however blame them both for not wearing the primary safety feature...SEAT BELTS!!!

I have been wearing seat belts way before it was mandated mandatory by law..
IMHO the "trace amounts" of Xanax was NOT a contributing factor, that drug was already worn off IMO..
"...Xanax was NOT a contributing factor..."

Thanks for pointing that out MB about the Xanax. While not something I take, there is way too much DWI blamed on much needed Rx's.
The bags should have popped and if the parameters were not met for deployment, then either there is a sensor defect or our cars should have been designed for better deployment.

Recall the cars to fix the deployment issue!
 

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"...Xanax was NOT a contributing factor..."

Thanks for pointing that out MB about the Xanax. While not something I take, there is way too much DWI blamed on much needed Rx's.
The bags should have popped and if the parameters were not met for deployment, then either there is a sensor defect or our cars should have been designed for better deployment.

Recall the cars to fix the deployment issue!
AGREED!! Duckie!!
As long as the bags being used or replaced are not TAKATA bags, OR any other bag that chokes you to death with its polluting powder and/OR hurls pieces of metal into you face(s)..

USE YOUR SEAT BELTS FOLKS!! ITS THE BEST PROTECTION YOU HAVE!!!!
 

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The only one I didn't hear about getting sued was the owner of the property that owned the tree (BTW, I didn't realize there are trees in Texas). If all trees were more than 1/4 mile from the road then there would be a lot less fatal accidents.

One thing I've learned from reading the internet is that accidents are NEVER caused by drivers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
we were on the way home from an Easter thing and while sitting at a stop light we say a huge cloud of duet about 400 yards away. There was a 10mph 90º turn there and I just knew someone went thru there too hot.

when we arrived we saw a red C5 vette bumper in the little ditch and a bodyless car wrapped around the tree. It didn't even look like a car. They must have hit the turn at about 70 and when the car hit the ditch the whole rear bumper came off, went airborne and hit the tree.

You could see the couple sitting there and my wife ran over to help, took one look, came back to the car and said they were both dead and we left.

this was not a huge tree at all. The couple had just gotten married that morning and the vette was a wedding present. Both were wearing seatbelts and you could see the airbags had deployed.

Trees Kill
 
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