While the company itself only linked 13 fatalities to the scandalous recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, the fund set for the compensation of victims has already recognized 27 cases.
Back in February, GM announced it was going to recall cars that were equipped with a flawed ignition switch, mostly older compact cars – eventually reaching a total of 2.6 million vehicles. The public panning and federal probes revealed the safety defect was known to people inside the company for more than a decade and the US automaker has subsequently recalled millions of other cars for the same problem.
After intense pressure, the carmaker has also hired independent attorney Kenneth Feinberg to oversee a victims’ compensation fund that would take care of victims and families that suffered because of accidents related to the initial 2.6 million vehicles recall.
Since August 1, the fund has been accepted claims and so far the program has registered 1,371 claims for deaths and injuries, according to a progress update from Feinberg’s office. As of last week, the team has approved other three death claims, raising the toll of death cases to 27. There are also 25 approved claims for serious injuries. The total claims number has gone up 21% since the last report, with 178 fatality claims and a continuous rise in the number of less serious injury claims – from 886 to 1,108.