GM Sees Switch Fatalities Jump to 27

Feinberg still evaluating additional death and injury claims.

by on Oct.14, 2014

Kenneth Feinberg has approved 27 claims for death benefits from the GM victims compensation fund.

The number of deaths tied to General Motors’ faulty ignition switch rose again this week. It’s now responsible for 27 fatalities as well as 25 serious injuries, according to the findings by Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the maker’s $600 million victims fund.

Initially, GM acknowledged 13 deaths, but that figure has been climbing steadily since Feinberg began reviewing claims from victims and their families in August. It’s also likely that number will rise further as Feinberg and his team continue evaluating more than 175 fatality claims.

The Automotive Journal of Record!

The fund will pay at least $1 million for each death claim, along with $300,000 payments to surviving spouses and children for pain and suffering. In addition, it will calculate the economic value of the life lost.

Feinberg has received 1,371 claims for deaths, serious and minor injuries thus far. He has received applications from 79 people claiming to have suffered serious injuries and 886 with minor injuries. Potential claimants can find the criteria for eligibility at GMIgnitionCompensation.com.

(To see more GM’s recall and victims’ fund, Click Here.)

Starting in late January, GM began recalling several models in its small-car line-up built over a decade due to the problem with the ignition switches. The problem with the switch is that it can move from the “on” to the “accessory” position when driving on rough roads or being jostled in some why. This cuts off power to the engine, air bags and power steering and brake assist.

(Chrysler recalling 184,000 SUVs for airbag issue. For more, Click Here.)

The switches were installed in several GM models, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Ion, Saturn Sky and Pontiac G5.

(Click Here for details about lower fuel prices that may be here to stay.)

Feinberg and his team are taking between 90 and 180 days to evaluate claims. In some instances, they are asking for additional information to make their decisions. Claims can be submitted until Dec. 31.

Ultimately, the recall climbed to 2.6 million vehicles. It started a record-setting string of recalls by the automaker that is now just shy of 30 million. The previous record for the entire industry was 30.1 million in 2004.

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