At this point anyone with even a passing knowledge of the General Motors ignition switch recall knows that the official number of deaths recognized by the automaker itself caused by the faulty part currently stands at 13 people. That figure is still under much debate, though. Reuters claims that it could be as high as 74 people, citing cases in the affected models with no airbag deployment, and the acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thinks that it could be higher as well. A family in Wisconsin believes that their daughter's death deserves to be part of the official figure as well but is being left off due to a technicality.
Natasha Weigel was in the backseat of a Chevrolet Cobalt that crashed in 2006, and she tragically died of her injuries. One of the front passengers was also killed in the crash. However, GM's official data only lists the front occupant among those killed in connection with the faulty switches, not Weigel.
According to her parents and KARE 11 NBC News from Minnesota, Weigel isn't on the list because she was in the rear of the vehicle where the non-deployment of the airbags had no effect. Her family counters that if the car's power steering and brakes were working, then the crash possibly could have been avoided. They don't think it makes sense that of the two fatalities in the accident one is counted and the other isn't. The family says that it has spoken to GM CEO Mary Barra about their daughter, but they feel she showed insincere sympathy towards them.
In reaction to the recall fiasco, GM recently announced that it fired 15 employees. The company is working to set up a victim compensation fund but is being criticized because it isn't yet saying who qualifies as a victim or how much they would receive.