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Entries in Chevy Malibu (1)

Wednesday
Jun222011

Indiana Car-Trunk Deaths Renew Safety Fears, Recall Request

Medioimages/Photodisc(DETROIT) -- Two young boys, stepbrothers, ages 2 and 4, died in New Carlisle, Ind., last week after being trapped in the trunk of their family's 2000 Chevy Malibu.

Police are uncertain how they got there but KidsAndCars.org, a national child safety organization, is again calling on General Motors Corp. to recall all vehicles with trunks from model years 2000 and 2001, and retrofit them with internal trunk releases.

The advocacy group made a similar appeal in 2009 when an Arkansas boy, 5, and his sister, 4, died in the same model vehicle in 2009 after becoming trapped in the trunk of a 2000 Malibu. Autopsies show that Friday's deaths were a result of hyperthermia, caused by the trunks exceedingly hot temperatures.

Indeed, a recent study conducted by KidsandCars found that 46 children have died in unintentional trunk entrapments since 1992. The study noted that 21 of the 46 deaths were in GM vehicles.

After the Arkansas deaths, the organization called on GM, the maker of the Chevy Malibu, to recall its 2000-2001 vehicles. In light of last week's deaths, it again urged GM to take action in an effort to prevent additional tragedies.

In an emailed statement to ABC News, GM said, "Keeping children safe in and around vehicles is a priority for General Motors."

The automaker added that it has been working for years to educate consumers on the subject. "Increasing awareness and education is critical since millions of vehicles of varying makes and models without trunk latches are still in the marketplace," the company said.

GM said there are no plans for a recall.

Although cars produced after 2001 are required to have an internal trunk release, many cars before that date are not equipped with the potentially lifesaving tool. KidsandCars recommends a $9.99 home-installed device called Easy Out Trunk Release Kit that glows in the dark so that anyone trapped inside can easily locate the release lever.

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