General Motors has now approved 36 deaths for its ignition switch compensation fund, adviser Kenneth Feinberg told The Detroit News. The fund, set up to compensate victims and families affected by GM’s faulty ignition switch, has also approved 44 injury claims, 5 of which are described as being very serious.
As of Monday, 2,215 claims had been submitted for approval. That includes 229 total death claims and 142 for very serious injuries. Not all death claims have been deemed eligible, as they were either ineligible or deficient, or had no documentation whatsoever. Detroit News says an additional 39 death claims are under review, while another 375 injury claims are under review.
GM originally acknowledged 13 people had been killed as a result of the faulty ignition switch, which can slip out of place while the car is in motion, shutting off the brakes, airbags and other important systems. Of those original 13, only four have submitted death claims with the compensation fund. Feinberg said he expects two more to submit their claim before the submission deadline, as well as an additional victim in Canada.
GM set aside $400 million from its earnings this year to pay for the compensation fund, but recognized the expense could rise to as much as $600 million. The automaker extended the deadline for submitting claims by one month to January 31. following a suggestion from Feinberg, who wanted to ensure all owners of affected vehicles were aware of the program.