GM ignition death claims approved hit 90
General Motors Co.’s ignition switch compensation fund on Monday said it has approved three additional death claims linked to its delayed recall of 2.6 million cars, raising the latest total to 90 deaths.
The fund approved six new injury claims. Of the 163 injury claims approved, 11 are for serious injuries and 152 are for less severe injuries.
GM initially said last year that 13 deaths were related to Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars with ignition switches that can inadvertently shut off the engine and disable power steering and air bags. GM delayed recalling the cars for nearly a decade after some within the company became aware there was a problem.
The fund is using a much broader definition to determine if deaths are related to the defect — including pedestrians who may have been killed as a result of a defective GM car.
In total, 4,342 claims were submitted by the Jan. 31 deadline, including 475 death claims. A total of 997 claims are still under review, including 46 death claims. A total of 1,420 claims have been ruled ineligible, including 193 deaths. Of the claims, 491 have been submitted without documentation.
Deputy fund administrator Camille Biros said last week that 167 offers have been made and 113 accepted, five have been rejected and 81 have been paid to date.
A surge in claims before the Jan. 31 deadline means the program will take until at least “very late spring” to rule on all the claims. Feinberg has said it could take as long as six months from the time the program received the final claim for serious injuries or deaths. GM will pay at least $1 million for each death claim.
Last week, GM upped the amount it expected to spent to pay claims to $550 million — up from an initial $400 million. GM said last year it could be as high as $600 million. It expects the fund to complete its review of claims by Sept. 30.