By Nora Naughton, Crain News Service
DETROIT (July 29, 2015) — Three more serious injuries have been linked to General Motors Co. defective ignition switches, the office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg said.
So far, 272 injuries have been linked to the ignition switches while 3,797 claims have been found ineligible.
On top of ruling on the three additional serious injuries, Mr. Feinberg's office also moved one claim originally ruled a serious injury to the minor injury category, and ruled 133 more claims ineligible.
Mr. Feinberg, who was hired by GM last year to independently compensate victims of the auto maker's faulty ignition switches, defines serious injuries as those resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns.
The ignition switches are now linked to 124 deaths. The switches, which prompted the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles in 2014, can be jostled out of the “run” position by a knee or heavy keychain, cutting power to the engine and power steering.
GM has set aside $625 million to pay victims. Death claims are eligible for a $1 million payout and $300,000 each for the surviving spouse and any dependants.
Mr. Feinberg's office has said it will complete its review of the 4,342 compensation claims related to the recall by the end of this month. There are 149 “deficient” claims, which require further documentation to elicit a decision, that remain open. Decisions have been rendered on the remaining claims.
The last deadline for claimants with deficient claims to file further documents is July 31, the fund's deputy administrator Camille Biros told Automotive News.
This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.