GM Ignition Switch Defect-related Death Toll Reaches 97 Eligible Claims

GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility as of May 01, 2015 1 photo
Photo: GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility
A whopping 30,433,365 General Motors-built vehicles were recalled throughout 2014. To put that figure into perspective, Malaysia’s population is numbering nigh on 30 million too. Needless to say, The Year of The Recalls took a toll on GM’s image and funds.
84 safety recall campaigns can’t be labeled as cheap fixes, but never mind these digits. The repercussions General Motors went through are hard to appreciate, especially the ignition switch defect-related uppercut.

As a brief reminder, millions of GM-built vehicles were recalled over sub-standard ignition switch assemblies. This apparently pint-sized glitch results in the deaths and injuries of many American motorists.

Media outlets reported numerous cases related to the aforementioned defect, a matter that prompted GM to hire Kenneth Feinberg to oversee the GM Ignition Switch Compensation Fund.

The facility’s latest report is giving us some interesting facts on this fiasco. Out of the 4,342 claims the Fund received to this moment, only 276 were deemed as eligible for compensation by GM’s legal department. In total, 97 people tragically lost their lives in accidents related to the defective ignition switch assemblies.

The remaining 179 eligible compensation claims count for 12 Category One cases and 167 labeled Category Two. Category One cover physical injuries resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns, while Category Two claimants are compensated for physical injuries that require hospitalization (or outpatient medical treatment) within 48 hours of the accident.

Remember when GM declared to the media that the death toll has minimal chances of rising over 13 cases? We do. So far, 23.4 percent of death claims have been approved and 45 remain to be reviewed.
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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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