General Motors (GM) recently reported that a defective ignition switch has caused 100 deaths to date, a significant increase from the original 13 deaths that GM claimed as the only known fatalities.
That number could increase again as compensation lawyers continue sifting through hundreds of injury and death claims, a process they hope to complete by late July.
According to the most recent report, the number of injury claims eligible for compensation is up to 184, an increase from 179 last week. The team of lawyers assigned to manage the compensation fund still have 37 death and 589 injury claims that need to be reviewed.
Of the claims that remain, some were set aside as deficient claims due to lack of documentation. The lawyers plan to readdress these claims in hopes that the families can provide more evidence.
GM has set assigned $600 million for compensation for victims affected by the faulty product, but would not identify the amount that has been paid thus far on approved claims.
The expansive recall encompassed 2.59 million older models of a number of vehicles, including Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion. In these vehicles, the faulty ignition switch can unintentionally shift out of the run position, shutting off the vehicle and disabling important safety features such as airbags and power steering.
The recall was set in motion after GM reached a settlement with the family of Brooke Melton, a Georgia woman who died in a car accident that resulted after her vehicle became disabled in the middle of a Georgia highway.
The lawsuit exposed that the Detroit automaker knew about the faulty ignition switch for a decade before initiating a recall on the defective part.
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