GM Ignition Compensation Fund Received 135 Applications, 65 Death Claims

GM ignition switch 1 photo
Photo: GM
The notorious ignition switch fiasco that started at the beginning of the year forced General Motors to come up with a special victim fund for those that suffered injuries or lost their lives in crashes involving cars fitted with the hazardous switches. In the first days since submissions began, 135 claims have been filed, half of which for alleged deaths.
Camille Biros, a spokeswoman for Kenneth Feinberg, the outside lawyer that manages the fund, has sent an e-mail to CBS MoneyWatch telling that the fund is "not in a position at this time" to say how many of those claims are eligible for compensation. Since submissions began on August 1st, 135 applications have been filed, of which 65 for deceased claimants and 70 for physical injuries.

Let's concentrate on the deceased because something doesn't add up. General Motors has previously told the media that only 13 deaths have been attributed to the defect, but there are 65 death claims submitted to date. Just as we suspected, the truth is somewhere between the lines, but it's a given that not only 13 people have lost their lives in GM-built cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion.

Of course, it's highly probable that some claims have been submitted for a non-eligible vehicle, but still, it's obvious that the figure provided by General Motors is a little bit optimistic when compared to the millions of vehicles affected by the non-compliant ignition switches. Researchers suggested that at least 70 people have lost their lives because of this fault, but there's still a lot of mystery regarding this matter and a lot more investigating to do.

Here's autoevolution's 2 cents: let's wait and see what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds out and then assess to what extent GM sugarcoated this gloomy situation.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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