Although the company only declared a low, two-digit count for the people who died in accidents related to the 2.6 million cars recalled with defective ignition switches, the claims are now much higher.
After it was revealed the company was at least a decade late in recalling the potentially deadly cars and facing numerous probes from US federal authorities (including two investigations by the US Congress), as well as huge lawsuits, the No. 1 automaker decided to establish a victims’ compensation fund.
Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer hired by General Motors to oversee the fund, has declared that since August 1 there were 63 claims involving fatalities and 65 involving physical injury claims. He added that the claims have not been confirmed yet to be among the ones eligible for compensation. The lawyer, which previously was involved in handling compensation funds for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and of the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has full authority to select the number of claims that would be paid and the amounts to be given in each case. The automaker revealed the fund has been so far provided with $400 million, but the final tally could be higher, as the total amount has not been capped.