James 2:14 (NIV)
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
Notice that the question is not "can faith without works save you?" If that were the question, the answer would be "it is impossible to have faith without works." Faith necessarily produces works. If good deeds do not come as a result of a changed life then what is it that changed? Works do not save. Works are not even the expression of gratitude for being saved. Being saved changes you and that change is evidenced by the power of God working through you.
Back to this verse...the emphasis is on the false claim to faith. So the question is "can a false claim to faith save you?" It is a rhetorical question which goes unanswered because the answer is obvious.