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GM Ignition Switch Deaths Grows by Four

A total of 104 now declared eligible for death benefits.

by on May.19, 2015

Four more families were declared eligible for death benefits from GM's victims benefits fund.

Four more people were added this week to the list of those killed as while driving in General Motors vehicles that crashed as a result of faulty ignition switches that necessitated the recall of nearly 2.6 million cars last year.

That brings the total number to 104, according to the latest update from Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator the $550 million victims fund established by the automaker.

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Feinberg and his team still have to process another 26 applications for death benefits, the report notes. Additionally, there are 469 applications for injury benefits, including 52 applications for Category One benefits, which cover people who suffered lost limbs, brain damage or pervasive burns in crashes. (more…)

Deaths Due to GM’s Faulty Ignitions Hits 100

Still 37 more death benefit claims to review.

by on May.11, 2015

GM said it has repaired more than 70% of the vehicles with its faulty ignition switch.

The number of deaths attributable to the faulty ignition switches in the 2.6 million vehicles recalled by General Motors has hit 100.

According to the latest update from Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator the $550 million victims fund established by the automaker, the number of death claims rose this week by three. There are 37 applications still to be considered after 227 have been denied. The automaker said it has repaired between 70 and 75% of the vehicles.

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In addition to the claims for death benefits, Feinberg’s staff approved 12 claims for people who suffered lost limbs, brain damage or pervasive burns in crashes, which are described as Category One. The claims for another 172 people who suffered less severe injuries that required hospitalization or outpatient treatment have also been approved, also known as Category Two injuries. (more…)

GM Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises to 97 Victims

Feinberg team continues processes claims.

by on May.04, 2015

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, approved another round of benefits for victims.

General Motors initially claimed that 13 people were killed as a result of the faulty ignition switches that forced the recall of nearly 2.6 million vehicles last year: that number is now at least 97 people.

Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the $600 million victims compensation fund established by GM, released the latest results of his team’s efforts to process claims filed by victims and their families.

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The number of deaths has been slowly rising since the automaker established the fund and Feinberg and his team began sifting through the claims. In total, 474 claims were submitted for death benefits, and 97 were deemed eligible, 212 ineligible and 105 were “deficient,” which means it didn’t have enough documentation to be processed. (more…)

GM Ignition Switch Death Count Increases to 52

Feinberg sorting through last-minute flood of claims.

by on Feb.10, 2015

The number of deaths related to GM's faulty ignition switches rose to 52.

Despite the passing of the Jan. 31 deadline to file claims, the number of claims – and deaths – associated with General Motors’ vehicles with faulty ignition switches continued to rise this week.

Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney administering GM’s victim’s compensation fund, approved another death benefit payout, bringing the total number of fatalities attributable to the faulty ignitions to 52.

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The amount of the benefit varies upon the circumstances, but each death benefit recipient receives at least $1 million. (more…)

GM Gets Deadline Flurry of Compensation Claims

Fund receives 455 total filings for death benefits.

by on Feb.03, 2015

GM saw 1,100 new filings for benefits from its victims compensation fund just before the Jan. 31 deadline.

The Jan. 31 deadline for claims to General Motors’ victim compensation fund spurred a flurry of 1,100 new filings.

The rush brought the total number of filings to 4,180, including 455 death benefits: an increase from 338 the week prior. Claims for the most severe injuries rose to 278, up from 224 a week earlier, and filings for less severe injuries jumped to 3,447 from 2,508 a week earlier.

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The fund is administered by Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney whose firm oversaw similar funds related to the BP oil spill and other issues, who said in a radio interview yesterday that he expects the total number of filings to rise a bit more because any claims post marked for Jan. 31 will be accepted. (more…)

GM Declines to Extend Compensation Fund Deadline

Automaker extended initial deadline by one month.

by on Jan.29, 2015

General Motors does plan to extend the deadline to file for benefits from its victims compensation fund.

Despite the pleas of two U.S. Senators, General Motors will not extend its deadline – for a second time – for victims of the maker’s ignition-switch vehicles to file for compensation benefits.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra asked the automaker to put off the fast-approaching Jan. 31 deadline to allow some of the victims and their families to get additional information so they can make an informed decision about their options.

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The pair noted that a Justice Department investigation of the problem with the vehicles has yet to be finished and they also noted that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court hasn’t determined if the current GM is liable for the problems with the cars. (more…)

General Motors Ignition Switch Death Count Rises to 30

Feinberg approves two more claims for benefits.

by on Oct.27, 2014

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, approved two more claims for death benefits.

The number of deaths attributable to General Motors’ faulty ignition switch in 2.6 million recalled vehicles has risen to 30. The count has steadily increased since Aug. 1, when the maker acknowledged 13 deaths.

The automaker established a victims’ fund, which is administered by Kenneth Feinberg, to compensate victims and their families for deaths and serious injuries. Feinberg began accepting claims on Aug. 1. In addition to the deaths, Feinberg approved the claims for 31 injuries.

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Four of the injuries are “Category One,” which includes physical Injuries resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns. (more…)

Feinberg Ups GM Ignition Death Toll to 21

Administrator approves two more claims for death benefits.

by on Sep.22, 2014

Kenneth Feinberg approved two more claims for death benefits from the GM victims compensation fund.

For the second time in less than a month, the number of deaths connected to faulty ignition switches in General Motors’ small cars has been revised upward. It now stands at 21.

Kenneth Feinberg, the independent administrator of the victims compensation fund established by the automaker, approved two more claims for death benefits moving the number from 19. Less than two weeks ago, he approved six claims to change the number from 13 to 19.

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Additionally, he substantiated four claims for serious injuries, which under the definitions established includes amputations, burns, spinal cord or brain damage. Twelve of 467 claims for hospitalization with 48 hours of an accident were also deemed eligible for compensation. (more…)

Senators Excoriate NHTSA Leader During Hearing

Friedman defends agency, declines to apologize to families.

by on Sep.17, 2014

David Friedman, NHTSA's acting administrator, testifies during a Senate subcommittee hearing.

U.S. Senators took turns lambasting the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during a subcommittee hearing for failing to discover sooner the problem with General Motors faulty ignition switch that is cause of 19 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

Senator Claire McCaskill, who chaired Tuesday’s hearing, blasted the agency for not doing more to get to the bottom of the problem by exercising its powers, including subpoenas, to do so.

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“That reflects obviously on an agency that is perhaps more interested in singing kumbaya with the manufacturers than being a cop on the beat,” she said. (more…)

GM Now Under Investigation by Attorneys General in 45 States

Maker says number of ignition switch fatalities could rise.

by on Jul.24, 2014

General Motors is not only facing multiple federal investigations, 45 attorneys general are also conducting queries regarding the company's faulty ignition switch.

Already facing investigations by both houses of Congress, as well as a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department, General Motors revealed Thursday that it is now facing additional investigations by the attorneys general in 45 states linked to its long delay in ordering a recall of 2.6 million vehicles equipped with defective ignition switches.

Though some probes had previously been announced – GM earlier confirming it had gone before a federal grand jury in New York – the latest revelation suggests the maker’s safety woes could get substantially worse, while it could also be facing significant new fines and legal costs.

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The news was revealed on the same day GM announced that it had earned a meager $200 million during the second quarter of 2014 due to expenses of more than $1 billion to cover the cost of various recall repairs and the establishment of a victims’ compensation fund linked to the ignition switch problem. A day earlier, the troubled maker had submitted documentation to federal regulators indicating the number of people killed or injured due to crashed caused by the switch problem could rise. (more…)