General Motors has tallied another 57 claims from victims of accidents linked to the ignition switch recall, with the total now standing at 4,237, according to the lawyer in charge of the company’s compensation fund.
The new claims have been tallied last week, as the program still accepts new claims even though the January 31 deadline has passed – they are all eligible for review if they were postmarked by that date. Back in February 2014, GM announced it was at least a decade late to recall 2.6 million older cars that were equipped with defective ignition switches, which could stall the engine and cut power to essential safety systems, including the airbags. Following regulatory and public backlash, the company decided to initiate a victims’ compensation fund that would settle claims off-court for the victims and families of victims tied to the flawed part. The automaker so far set aside around $400 million for compensation, though it said that Kenneth Feinberg, hired to administer the program, would have an uncapped amount of cash at his disposal to settle the claims.
Through Friday, the administrator of the fund said GM received 462 claims for fatalities, 282 for catastrophic injuries and 3,493 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization – with the number of claims so far deemed eligible for compensation reaching 131. They encompass 52 deaths, eight severe injuries and 71 other injuries. The report also stated that 501 claims have been ruled out; 1,143 are still under review; 1,016 lacked the necessary evidence or paperwork and 1,446 had no documentation at all.