The fund set up by General Motors (GM) to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch has identified all of the victims that will be receiving compensation from the fund. It determined that 124 deaths and 257 injuries were a direct result of an ignition switch problem that the automaker hid from the public for decades.
The fund stopped accepting claims on Jan. 31, and rejected 3,944 of the 4,343 applications it received, only approving 399 claims. That means that the fund rejected 91 percent of the claims it received.
According to Camille Biros, deputy administrator for the fund, the claims that were rejected did not have enough evidence to support any connection to the ignition switch. She specifically stated that some claims were submitted for vehicles that were not included in the 2.6 million vehicle recall. In other cases, she pointed to the fact that because the airbag deployed, it was a sign that the ignition switch was not at-fault.
Last year, GM recalled millions of vehicles because the ignition switch could slip out of the run position, which would cause vehicles to unexpectedly stall, also disabling important safety features such as the airbags, power steering and brakes.
The automaker set aside a $625 million compensation fund to pay victims, allowing for a minimum payout of $1 million for families of those who died as a result of the defect. Those who filed a claim with the fund, waived the right to sue, trusting the fund would award appropriate damages.
The company has also stated that it is facing 181 wrongful death or injury lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada.
GM’s failure to solve its ignition switch problem, led to countless injuries and deaths, which could have been avoided. At Peterson & Associates, we are dedicated to holding negligent companies accountable for their actions so that our clients get the justice they deserve.