GM ignition-switch death toll rises to 24 – USA TODAY
The number of people killed in crashes caused by General Motors’ defective ignition switches is 24 as of Friday, according to updated figures released today.
GM victim fund chief Ken Feinberg said he has certified two dozen people as eligible for settlements, one more than a week ago. He has received applications from 165 families claiming to have lost a loved one in an accident caused by malfunctioning ignition switches, up from 153 a week ago.
The number of people who will receive compensation for serious injuries or minor injuries remained steady at four and 12, respectively.
Feinberg said he’s now received applications from 79 people claiming to have suffered serious injuries and 886 saying they had minor injuries.
That brings the total number of applications for injury and death compensation to 1,130
GM has recalled 2.6 million small cars — primarily from between 2003 and 2007 model years to replace the ignition switches — which can turn off when jostled, cutting off power to the engine, air bags and power steering and brake assist.
Feinberg said he’s still evaluating applications that have not been certified for compensation, or he’s requesting more documentation to verify their eligibility.
Families of people who died will get at least $1 million. Feinberg, who ran the 9/11 victim compensation fund and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill fund, is accepting applications through Dec. 31.
GM initially said the number of people who died in accidents blamed on the ignition switch was at least 13, but that figure was expected to rise as more victims came forward.
The faulty switches were installed in Chevrolet Cobalts and HHRs, Saturn Ions and Skys, and Pontiac G5s, mostly from the 2003 through 2007 model years.
Feinberg has spelled out criteria for eligibility at GMIgnitionCompensation.com. If he determines the defect was the “substantial cause” of the accident, he will use actuarial tables and medical cost data to calculate the size of a payout.