GM Fund Rejects 91 Percent of Ignition Switch Claims

ignition-gmGeneral Motors was part of a massive recall last year of over 2.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches. This led to 4,000 plus claims received by Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney hired by GM to compensate victims. Of the 4,000 claims, an estimated 90 percent were denied.

Officials say the defective GM switches would cut off power to the engine and power steering if the switch was bumped by a drivers knee or an object like a heavy key chain.

  • 275 injuries and 124 fatalities are linked to the defective ignition switches. Additional cases are pending in courts.
  • Of the 275 injuries, 17 of them were considered serious and included double amputation, paraplegia, permanent brain damage, quadriplegia and extensive burns.
  • Minor injuries, made up of 258 of the total injury claims, involved outpatient treatment or hospitalization within 48 hours of the accident.

Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the fund, said Monday the claims that were rejected “couldn’t support any connection to the ignition switch.”

GM has set aside $625 million to compensate victims of faulty switches with one million for each person who died and $300,000 for a surviving spouse and dependents. For victims of severe injuries, they may exceed death claim payouts. Eligible minor injury payouts may be from $20,000 to $500,000 per claimant.

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