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Deadline Extended for GM Ignition Recall Claims

Feinberg wants to ensure everyone eligible has been contacted.

by on Nov.17, 2014

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, extended the deadline for filing claims to Jan. 31, 2015.

The deadline to file claims for benefits from General Motors victims fund was extended by one month to Jan. 31, 2015. The deadline was extended to ensure that anyone eligible to file a claim had been contacted and the time necessary to compile the information needed to file.

“I believe that the many efforts to reach all possible GM automobile owners, former owners and others who might have been adversely impacted by a defective ignition switch have been both comprehensive and effective,” said Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the fund, in a statement.

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“There will always be some individuals who do not receive formal notice and are generally unaware of available compensation. But such individuals appear to be very few in number.”

Feinberg and his team have approved 33 claims for death benefits as well as 39 injury claims. Through Nov. 14, the fund received 2,105 claims for benefits, including 217 for deaths. The fund has denied 31 death claims, 77 were deficient – meaning they were asked to submit additional information – and 27 are still being reviewed. Claimants were eligible to begin filing on Aug. 1.

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GM agreed to the extension.

“We agreed with Ken Feinberg’s recommendation to extend the compensation program deadline. Our goal with the program has been to reach every eligible person impacted,” the automaker said in a statement.

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The automaker recalled about 2.6 million vehicles this year that used a faulty ignition switch that can move from the “run” position to the “accessory” position, which cuts off the power to vehicles power steering and airbags.

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The problem, which the automaker knew about for more than a decade, can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. GM initially tied the problem to 13 deaths, but has since seen that number rise to the aforementioned 33 deaths. GM has set aside $600 million for the victims fund, although it says there is no limit on the amount it will pay.

The existence of the fund hasn’t prevented some victims from suing the automaker, but they’ve been few and far between. However, two class-action suits have been filed this year against the automaker each seeking $10 billion.

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