The largest automaker in the United States and the third-biggest in the world, General Motors, has received as of last week a total of 4,342 claims for compensation linked to the flawed ignition switch and subsequent recall.
The weekly update has come courtesy of the lawyer’s office that oversees the fund – Kenneth Feinberg was tapped by GM as an outside person to oversee the program, with the lawyer having previous experience in such instances (including compensation for the 9/11 terror attack victims and 2010 BP oil spill). The company received until Friday a total of 475 claims for death, 289 for catastrophic injuries and 3,578 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization, according to the report. The claims continue to be tallied even as the deadline for submitting them has passed on January 31, because any of them postmarked by that date are still eligible for review.
According to the lawyer, General Motors and his office have determined that 67 deaths, 11 severe injuries and 102 other injuries are currently eligible for payment – a further 820 were axed as ineligible and another 1,492 were still under review. Of the total, another 1,066 were still pending the necessary paperwork or evidence and 784 were submitted without any documentation. So far, GM has announced in fillings it had set aside $400 million to cover the compensation costs for people injured or killed because of the flawed ignition switch that equipped their cars. The victims compensation program only covers the recall of 2.6 million older cars – mostly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions – that was announced last February and triggered the extensive safety campaign that led to a record number of recalls in 2014.