General Motors has set up a program designed to compensate victims of accidents tied to the company’s 2.6 million autos ignition switch recall. Now, the fund’s deadline for the filing of claims has been extended by one month, according to Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer in charge.
Back in February the No. 1 US automaker acknowledged it needed to recall 2.6 million cars equipped with a defective ignition switch – the faulty part could cause an engine stall mid-driving, with critical loss of key safety systems, including the airbags. The ensuing scandal led to a slew of recalls and made the company set up a victims’ compensation fund.
Feinberg, a lawyer with experience managing such funds – he oversaw the ones designed to bring relief to victims of the 9/11 terror attacks and 2010 BP oil spill – was tapped to run the program without any intervention from GM. So far, as of Monday, the updated list of claims has seen compensation approved for families of 33 victims that died in accidents tied to the defective switch. Feinberg also recently announced that a notice of the deadline extension had been forwarded to around 4.5 million current and previous owners of eligible autos, with the move being made “out of an abundance of caution.”