The number of deaths attributed to a faulty ignition switch in certain General Motors small vehicles has risen from 19 a week ago to 21, according to a report from Automotive News. Ken Feinberg, the lawyer in charge of compensating the victims, has so far received 675 claims for serious injuries or deaths related to the problem since August 1 and will continue to accept claims until December 31.
In addition to the 21 deaths so far confirmed, another 16 claims for serious injury have been passed through as well. Last week Feinberg provided the first update on the program since it began in August and reported 19 deaths were linked to the ignition switch, 6 more than the 13 deaths GM had previously reported. So far a total of 143 death claims have been submitted to the program, AN says.
GM spokesman Dave Roman told AN the company expected Feinberg to use “very different criteria from the compensation program,” than GM did when determining if deaths were linked to the ignition switch. GM says it hopes to reach and compensate as many eligible individuals as possible.
There are still claims that have been submitted and not approved as they are either awaiting further documentation or are still under review. Some claims are still being submitted and attorneys representing switch victims say they are still receiving and looking into other new clams.
GM put no cap on how much a victim can be compensated, but laid out comprehensive criteria to determine how much a victim will be paid when the program launched in August. GM set aside $400 million this year to cover the costs of the compensation program, but recognized it could cost the company as much as $600 million.