More than a year after GM’s ignition switch recall burst into the spotlight the General is still feeling the effects. And in that time the total number of reported deaths related to the ignition switch has skyrocketed from a lowballed 13 (the official number) to 64. And counting, as cases continue to be reviewed.
As we know now it all started with Mark Hood, an engineer from Florida, and his discovery that the ignition switch he salvaged from Brooke Melton’s car was different from a new ignition with the exact same part number. Brooke died tragically in March 2010 behind the wheel of her Cobalt, on her 29th birthday.
Today, GM finally settled its second and final lawsuit with the family that brought the whole recall to light, according to Automotive News. The terms of the settlement have not been revealed.
One of the Melton’s lawyers, Lance Cooper, originally confronted switch-designer Ray DeGiorgio in April 2013 and five months later, as Cooper was preparing to depose more GM employees, the company agreed to a $5-million settlement.
Why the second lawsuit? After GM went public with the recall in February 2014 the Melton’s filed another lawsuit accusing GM of fraud when settling the first lawsuit and of “knowingly selling defective vehicles”.
Even with the Melton case now settled, again, GM is still facing thousands of potential claims in relation to the switches.
The Feinberg compensation fund has received “4,343 claims, including 478 deaths and 291 catastrophic injuries. Feinberg has deemed 64 death claims, 11 catastrophic injuries and 97 injuries as eligible for payments so far, with 1,571 claims still under review,” according to AN.