General Motors tracked more than 800 incidents where air bags did not deploy in the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt, according to a 2012 internal GM memo made public Thursday by U.S. lawmakers. There were 189 cases where front air bags failed to deploy in the 2003-2007 Ion and 626 cases in the 2005-2010 Cobalt, GM air bag engineer John Sprague told manager Doug Wachtel, noting those were "raw numbers." The cars were recalled earlier this year because of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. The switches could be turned off too easily in some cases, stalling the engine and shutting off power to the air bags. On Monday, a lawyer for GM will announce the eligibility criteria for a program to compensate victims of that faulty ignition switch that prompted the recall of 2.6 million vehicles.
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