The General Motors ignition compensation fund has approved three new injury claims and no new death claims, the first batch of approvals that has not included a death claim. The fund, run by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, says that it plans to complete the review process by the end of the month.
Since being set up The fund has approved 269 injury and 124 death claims thus far, totaling 393 combined claims. Of those, just 18 are for serious injury (ex: quadriplegia) while the other 251 have been categorized as less severe.
Last week, the fund processed 170 claims, leaving 285 listed as “deficient”, for which final determination has yet to be made. Of those, 12 are death claims and 14 for serious injury.
The fund has so far made 319 offers — 95 for death and 224 for injury — and 227 have been accepted, according to GM compensation fund deputy director Camille Biros. Six claims have been rejected while another 86 are outstanding.
The automaker will have to pay $1 million for each death claim and has set aside $550 million to pay claims, according to the The Detroit News.
Yet even after GM finishes compensating victims through the fund, it could still face possible expenditures, fines, and charges associated with accidents involving vehicles with the defective ignition switches. Those include the families of victims that decided to opt out of the compensation fund, a lawsuit of consolidated charges that will soon see GM CEO Mary Barra deposed, and even a possible criminal charge brought forth by the U.S. Justice Department, which plans to reach its decision whether or not to charge GM by the end of summer or early fall.
Some analysts have gone on record in saying that GM could be forced to pay a fine of up to $1.2 billion if the DOJ decides to proceed and is successful. Furthermore, some speculate GM could be forced to pay up to $2 billion dollars in the consolidated charges case, which goes to trial in January.
While we won’t know the extent of those charges for some time, it’s clear GM and its attorneys have their work cut out for them for the next year, if not more.