Canada probing fatal crashes amid complaints over faulty GM switches

Mon May 26, 2014 5:48pm EDT
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(Figure in 6th paragraph in U.S. dollars)

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA May 26 (Reuters) - Canada is probing two fatal crashes in General Motors Co vehicles which were subject to a recall to fix faulty switches and has received nine further complaints from drivers, the country's top transportation official told Reuters on Monday.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said she was sure the number of complaints potentially linking accidents to the switches would rise as people became aware of the recall.

"There were two accidents into which we are currently having investigations which may be related to this defect and this recall and I can confirm that," she said in a telephone interview.

An official at Transport Canada - the federal transportation ministry - earlier said both accidents involved vehicles which were subject to the recall. The airbags did not deploy in either case.

Complaints about the crashes were filed in June 2013 and April of this year. Raitt said she did not know how long Transport Canada's probes would take to wrap up.

The United States this month fined GM $35 million for not recalling cars with faulty ignition switches as quickly as possible.

At least 13 deaths in the United States have so far been linked to the problem.   Continued...