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
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
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
At least 13 deaths in the United States have so far been linked
to the problem.
Asked whether she felt fatal crashes in Canada could be linked
to the faulty switches, Raitt told Reuters: "I think people are
going to take a look at the accidents they had and wonder
whether or not the faulty switch was at fault and I expect
Transport Canada will get more phone calls."
Raitt said Ottawa is trying to determine whether the firm had
delayed the recall of some cars, breaking the law in doing so,
but she added that there was no evidence that GM Canada had
contravened Canadian laws.
"If information comes to light that GM Canada is not being
truthful with us, we do have the ability to go back and
prosecute," she said.
Raitt said she did not know how Transport Canada would handle
the nine complaints. Asked about the complaints, GM Canada said
it was working closely with the ministry.
"We will continue to offer our full cooperation with the federal
government as we work through these difficult issues," said
spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie.
(Additional reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto, editing by G
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