The US automaker’s fund designed to compensate victims or families for deaths and injuries in relation to the 2.6 million cars recall has made the first offers to around 15 people.
Back in February, GM issued a recall for 2.6 million cars – mostly Saturn Ions and Chevrolet Cobalts – after it was discovered a flaw with the ignition switch. The ensuing public scandal and numerous subsequent probes proved the company had known about the safety issue for more than a decade. Now, with recalls totaling almost 30 million vehicles worldwide, GM has set aside $400 million for an uncapped fund designed to compensate victims and families of the initial ignition switch recall.
According to an official of the lawyer’s office in charge of the program – Ken Feinberg – the number of claims since last week jumped from 675 to 850, including 150 death claims. The fund so far approved 21 fatality claims – as opposed to GM who only recognized 13.
The 15 people receiving offers were contacted verbally, said Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the fund, and they included cases of people that got injured, as well as death ones. According to the company, each sanctioned fatality claim would receive at least $1 million, with the payment to increase if the victim had dependants.