Losing a loved one in a car accident causes a certain pain that no one should ever have to experience. What makes these accidents even harder to take is when a defective automobile was responsible for the fatality.

This is what a Wisconsin mother experienced when she lost her teenage daughter in a 2006 car accident. The death appears to be one of 13 fatal accidents that were caused due to a problem with the ignition switch on certain vehicles manufactured by General Motors.

Two weeks ago, GM announced that it was recalling more than 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s because of the problem with the ignition switch, which could result in the ignition moving out of the run position while turning off the engine and electrical power.

It has been reported that heavy key rings or rough roads that cause jarring could initiate the problem with the ignition switch. When the problem occurs, vehicles can suddenly stall and airbags don’t deploy if an accident takes place.

So far, the defect has been associated with 31 car accidents, including 13 deaths of drivers or passengers in the front seats after air bags failed to deploy.

This week, GM announced that it has added 842,000 Saturn Ion compact cars, Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars to the recall, which now includes around 1.6 million vehicles.

However, the Wisconsin mother wants to know why a recall of this nature wasn’t issued years ago, when GM learned about the problem.

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM admits to knowing about the issue as early as 2004 and knowing about a fatal crash that took place as a result in 2007.

If it turns out that GM did indeed know about the risks associated with the defect but failed to warn the public, the Michigan-based company could face serious liability in wrongful death lawsuits.

Source: CBS Moneywatch, “GM adds 842,000 vehicles to recall linked to fatal crashes,” Feb. 25, 2014