GM ignition-switch death toll rises to 67

GMT 18:01 2015 Monday ,16 March

Arab Today, arab today GM ignition-switch death toll rises to 67

General Motors
New York - AFP

General Motors said Monday that at least 67 people had died as a result of defective ignition switches in its vehicles, raising the death toll in its delayed-recall scandal.
The GM independent compensation fund said that 133 death claims remained under review.
The death toll stood at 64 a week ago as the fund processes compensation claims for fatalities and injuries linked to the faulty equipment, which can cause the ignition to unintentionally switch out of the "on" position, disabling airbags and other functions.
GM, the largest US automaker, knew of the ignition problem for more than a decade before it began recalling 2.6 million cars in February 2014.
The fund, administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, said Monday there were 11 confirmed cases of crippling injuries, such as brain damage or double amputation, as a result of ignition-related crashes. The number was unchanged from a week ago. There were 102 eligible claims for hospitalization or outpatient medical treatment.
The fund said that it still had a total of 1,492 claims under review. The day after the January 31 deadline to file claims, GM said it had received more than 4,180 claims, with more expected to arrive through the postal system.
GM will pay a minimum $1 million in death compensation, $300,000 for the surviving spouse and another $300,000 for each surviving dependent.
Financial and medical treatment compensation of at least $20,000 will also be offered to those with eligible physical injury claims from an accident.
On Friday, GM and the family of a woman whose death helped spur the massive ignition-defect recall announced they had settled the family's wrongful death lawsuit, without disclosing the terms of the agreement.
Brooke Melton, who lived in the southern state of Georgia, died at age 29 in March 2010 when her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt careened into another car after the engine suddenly shut off.
GM is under investigation by Congress, regulators and the Justice Department over why it waited more than a decade after first uncovering the ignition-switch problem to start recalling cars.
Lawyers for many victims have already filed a number of class-action suits that could cost the company far more than its promised payouts under the compensation program. People who accept payments from the compensation fund waive their right to take legal action against GM.


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