GM has acknowledged that at least 13 deaths were caused by faulty ignition switches installed in older vehicles, and has recalled several million cars with the problem. Reuters reported that several families were issued recall notices on cars that took their loved ones' lives in crashes.
A simple VIN check could have shown GM which cars were still on the road, saving families from receiving a reminder of their loved ones demise.
"We are deeply sorry to those families who received a recall notice," GM spokesman Greg Martin told Reuters.
In February, GM recalled 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other older small sedans for faulty ignition locks. The federal government hit GM with the maximum fine allowed - $35 million dollars - over its failure to recall the defective vehicles earlier. Documents show GM knew about the problem for years and failed to alert consumers or federal safety agencies.