Yesterday a report coming from Ken Feinberg’s office, the lawyer in charge with GM’s victims’ compensation fund, has raised the total of fatalities linked to the defective ignition switch found in 2.6 million vehicles.
Back in February, GM started a recall that would encompass 2.6 million vehicles, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions, with the public and federal authorities subsequently finding that the defective ignition switch had been identified by company employees at least a decade before. The public and federal pressure has made GM start a victims’ compensation fund with an uncapped purse.
So far, the office of outside attorney Ken Feinberg – known for overseeing similar funds – has received since August 1 no less than 867 claims for serious injuries or deaths related to the faulty ignition switch. Last week, the tally for accepted claims was 21 deaths and 16 serious injuries, but according to updated statistics provided by Feinberg’s office the tally for fatalities has gone up to 23.
GM has so far set aside for the fund $400 million, but said the purse could need another $200 million at the end. According to the program, accepted death claims would be paid north of $1 million, a figure that can go up if the victim had dependents.