GM Compensation Fund: Approved Death, Injury Claims Likely To Rise Following Onslaught Of New Submissions

Although the deadline for submissions to the General Motors ignition switch victims’ compensation fund has come and gone, officials with the program say the number of approved death and injury claims will likely rise for several more months.

Reuters reports that the number of deaths deemed eligible for composition under the fund increased by one to 51 from last week, while the number of approved injury claims increased by two to a total of 77.

Camille Biros, deputy administrator for the fund, tells Reuters that the number of approved claims will “absolutely” rise as claims are processed in the coming weeks.

As of Sunday, the fund had received 4,180 claims, up from the 3,068 that had been received by January 31.

Additionally, Biros anticipates the number of received claims to rise, as the program will accept any submissions that have a time stamp before the January 31 deadline, but have not yet been received by the fund.

Biros says the fund will likely be processing claims until the end of spring.

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.

Deaths linked to defective GM switch expected to rise-fund official [Reuters]