The General Motors Ignition Compensation fund said it has approved its 49th fatality due to a faulty ignition switch across Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and more. The number rises from 45 fatalities as of last week.
Kenneth Feinberg, GM compensation advisor, has in total approved 49 fatalities and 72 injuries stemming from the faulty parts and their vehicles. Of the injuries approved, seven were major injuries sustained, while 65 were minor.
The number of death claims has no rose to 311, up eight from last week, and injury claims have risen to 207, up five. As of this writing, 857 claims are still under review, while 763 have been submitted without documentation.
So far, the GM Ignition Compensation fund has extended 65 compensation offers, with 41 of them being accepted and none being rejected so far. Previously, the automaker expected to spend $400 million on compensation to victims, but now says it could be as high as $600 million.
This past May, GM paid a record $35 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for improper procedure, and a delayed recall by nearly a decade for the 2.95 million cars affected. In the aftermath, GM CEO Mary Barra fired 15 employees and made significant changes to its recall review process.
Feinberg has said to could take six months to process all of the claims, so we may not know a final tally from the compensation fund until this coming Summer.