As of today, Kenneth Feinberg and his General Motors Compensation Fund have approved three new death claims and 9 injury claims, bringing the current tally to 45 deaths and 67 injury claims due to a defective ignition switch.
The Compensation Fund was created to compensate drivers and passengers either hurt or killed due to GM’s negligence involving defective ignition switches that were recalled well after GM’s knowledge of the matter; the switches could accidentally turn off the engine and disable the power steering and airbag systems.
Some additional claim numbers according to The Detroit News:
- Death claims has risen to 303
- Serious injury claims has risen to 202
- 320 claims (including 49 death claims) have been declared ineligible
- 738 claims are currently under review
- 783 claims have been submitted without documentation
- 65 compensation offers were made in December, of which 41 were accepted and none have yet to be rejected
GM has indicated in the past that it expects to spend $400 million on claims but said it could increase by $200 million more. The automaker has already paid $35 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the delayed recall.
Two months ago, GM extended the filing deadline 30 days until January 31, meaning there are three weeks left for interested parties to submit a claim. Additionally, GM had sent 850,000 letters notifying owners of the program since response has been slow.