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VW to Give U.S. Diesels Owners Generous Compensation

But program is on hold until EPA officials approve vehicle repair plans.

by on Feb.08, 2016

VW compensation fund czar Kenneth Feinberg says that for the moment his "hands are tied."

The check is in the mail. Well, not quite. But Kenneth Feinberg, the specialist whom Volkswagen has hired to put together a compensation package for U.S. owners of about 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles, says he expects to be eventually making some very generous payments.

But the timing is up in the air, Feinberg tells the German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine, until VW can first come to an agreement to move forward with repairs for those vehicles – which were equipped with so-called “defeat devices” meant to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

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“My hands are tied as long as VW and the authorities have not overcome their differences,” Feinberg says.

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VW Hires Victim Compensation Expert Ken Feinberg

Move comes amidst corporate management shake-up.

by on Dec.17, 2015

Kenneth Feinberg previously oversaw GM's ignition switch victims compensation fund.

(This story has been updated to reflect new details provided during a Feinberg news conference.)

Volkswagen is setting up an independent claims fund to address its diesel emissions scandal, and it has tapped attorney Kenneth Feinberg to handle the program.

Feinberg recently wrapped up work for General Motors where he oversaw a similar fund for claims on behalf of victims impacted by a General Motors ignition switch defect. Feinberg also oversaw compensation funds following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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“His extensive experience in handling such complex matters will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.

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GM: Ignition Switch Victim Fund Paid Out Nearly $600 Mi

Total cost for scandal now tops $2 bil.

by on Dec.10, 2015

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

An independent victims’ fund set up by General Motors paid out nearly $600 million to settle 399 claims related to a faulty ignition switch, bringing to more than $2 billion the total amount of money the maker has spent as a result of a defect linked to more than 100 deaths.

The announcement came Thursday as the special fund began wrapping up operations. It had been set up on orders from Mary Barra, the then-new GM CEO, last year as part of a broader response to the maker’s extensive safety problems. GM has also had to pay out $900 million to settle a Justice Department criminal probe, and millions more in fines levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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But GM’s troubles are far from over. Not all of those offered settlements from the victims’ fund accepted, and they are among a number of others still set to have their day in court, with a series of trials set to begin in U.S. District Court in New York next month.

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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…)

100s, Perhaps 1,000s, Likely Eligible for GM Victims’ Compensation Plan

Administrator will have free hand in deciding who gets payout.

by on Jun.30, 2014

GM compensation fund czar Kenneth Feinberg.

When General Motors formally unveils the victims’ compensation fund later today, it’s expected to give a free hand to the administrator who will have to decide on how to pay out to those involved in crashes linked to the maker’s faulty ignition switches.

According to several sources, as well as published reports, administrator Kenneth Feinberg could eventually wind up paying out more than $1 billion, not only to the families of those killed in crashes caused by the ignition switch defect, but also to those injured, whether passengers or pedestrians, as well as those in vehicles struck by the now-recalled GM vehicles.

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“He will have complete independence” from GM to decide who will receive compensation, and for how much, the automaker’s CEO Mary Barra said during a U.S. House subcommittee hearing earlier this month. Barra added that the compensation program will cover “everyone who lost a loved one due to this issue, or who suffered serious physical injury.”

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