Our weekly report on the progress of the General Motors ignition switch compensation program is here, with 33 new compensation claims received last week, according to the office of the administrator of the fund.
The total now stands at 4,345 claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in General Motors cars – all linked to the last February recall of 2.6 million older vehicles. Back then, the automaker acknowledged it was at least a decade late filing the recall, with the cars equipped with a faulty ignition switch that could shutdown the engine mid-driving, cutting power to critical safety systems, including airbags and power brakes. Following the initial backlash and facing numerous lawsuits, Gm set up the ignition switch compensation program, run by outside attorney Kenneth Feinberg, which has experience in administering such programs.
While the deadline for filing ignition switch compensation claims has already passed (January 31), the administrator said that any claims postmarked by that date are still eligible for review. So far, through Friday last week, the No. 1 US carmaker received 479 claims for death, 292 for catastrophic injuries and 3,574 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization, with the number of claims deemed eligible for compensation now standing at 151. Of the latter, 57 involve fatalities; nine involve severe injuries and 85 other injuries. Another 666 claims have been axed as ineligible, 1,457 are still under consideration, 1,104 still need more paperwork and 967 had no documentation at all.