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Deaths Attributable to GM Ignition Switch Problem Rises

Feinberg approves payment on claims for 19 deaths.

by on Sep.15, 2014

GM victims' fund czar Kenneth Feinberg approved payouts for 19 death claims.

The number of people killed as a result of General Motors’ faulty ignition switch allowing for the deactivation of the airbags in 2.6 million compact vehicles now officially stands at 19.

The problem the ignitions centers on a faulty switch that could inadvertently turn from the “On” position to “Off” or “Accessory” when the vehicle is jostled. In such an instance, the car would stall and its power steering and brakes, as well as its airbag system, would deactivate.

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Prior to now, GM admitted to 13 deaths resulting from the problems. The new number is the result of the findings of Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney overseeing the independent compensation fund set up by GM, who has approved 31 compensation claims, including 19 deaths. (more…)

GM Smacked with New Lawsuit Alleging 29 Deaths

Maker’s crashworthiness honor offset by new suit.

by on Jul.30, 2014

A new lawsuit against GM claims the compensation fund designed Kenneth Feinberg doesn't go far enough.

General Motors’ ignition switch recall has triggered a new lawsuit in which the plaintiffs are claiming that 29 people have died and 627 were injured in accidents in which the defective part was a factor.

The lawsuit, Abney vs. General Motors, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which is emerging as the venue for cases against GM. The quasi-official number of deaths blamed on the defective ignition switch now stands at 13, according to figures from GM and the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration.

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The suit also attacks GM’s efforts to settle out of court with injured motorists through a procedure established by New York attorney Kenneth Feinberg. It covers claims that would not be eligible for the program, according to Robert Hilliard, the lawyer who filed the suit. The ineligible claims, according to Hillard, include accidents involving cars not among the 2.6 million vehicles initially recalled for switch issues and accidents in which the car’s airbags deployed. (more…)

Study Claims Deaths with GM’s Recalled Cars May Top 300

Safety group claims data shows problem, but GM, feds failed to act.

by on Mar.14, 2014

GM and NHTSA are being criticized for ignoring as many as 300 deaths in due to airbag failures that could be attributed to the faulty ignition switches in Saturn Ions and Chevy Cobalts.

The number of people killed due to airbags that failed to deploy due to the faulty ignition switch in the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ions recalled by General Motors may be significantly higher than first reported based on new study of the data.

According to a study by the Friedman Research Group, GM reported 303 deaths to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the vehicles between 2003 and 2012 due to airbag failures. The data was pulled from the agencies Fatal Analysis Reporting System. The study was released in the midst of a flap over GM’s handling of a recent recall for a defective ignition switch the maker admits is linked to a dozen fatalities.

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The Washington-based Center for Auto Safety (CAS) commissioned the study and released the results in an open letter to NHTSA late yesterday which criticizes the agency, as well as GM, for not moving more quickly to tackle the ignition switch issue and other problems. (more…)