GM Compensation Fund Approves 50th Death Claim, Submission Deadline Saturday

Just five days before the submission deadline for consumers affected by General Motors’ massive ignition switch defect, administrators for the compensation fund say they have officially linked 50 deaths to the faulty devices.

The Detroit News reports that compensation advisor Kenneth Feinberg has approved 50 death claims and 75 injury claims since the fund began the process of investigating consumer claims in August.

Over the last week, the company added one approved death claim and three new approved injury claims.

With just five days left before the submission deadline, Feinberg reports that GM has received more than 3,000 death, serious injury and minor injury claims related to the switch defect.

Of those claims, 338 were for death claims and 224 serious injuries. Feinberg says he has deemed 386 ineligible, including 58 death claims, while 802 claims are still under review and 847 were submitted without documentation.

So far, the fund has made 65 offers for compensation, of which 41 have been accepted. No offers have been rejected, the Detroit News Reports.

Back in November, Feinberg caved to pressure from advocates and Congress and agreed to extend the claim submission cutoff to January 31, one month longer than the initial deadline of December 31.

At the time of that announcement, Feinberg said GM would send out additional notices to 850,000 vehicle owners.

Despite there being less than a week left to file a claim, we likely won’t know just how many fatalities and injuries are linked to the defect until mid-2015, at the earliest.

Feinberg has said that it could take as long as six months to complete the review of all applications once the final claims are submitted.

Officials with GM previously said they expect to spend $400 million on claims, but that the figure could rise as high as $600 million.

The claimants are not obligated to accept the compensation, but if they do take the money they give up their rights to pursue legal action against GM with regard to the ignition defect.

The compensation program covers approximately 1.6 million model-year 2003-2007 recalled vehicles manufactured with an ignition switch defect and approximately 1 million model year 2008-2011 recalled vehicles that may have been repaired with a recalled ignition switch.

GM ignition death toll hits 50 [The Detroit News]

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