Gen­eral Mo­tors re­jects 91 per­cent of claims for faulty ig­ni­tion switches


Lawyers hired to com­pen­sate vic­tims of Gen­eral Mo­tors’ faulty ig­ni­tion switches have fin­ished de­ter­min­ing which claims are el­i­gi­ble, re­ject­ing 91 per­cent of them.

The com­pen­sa­tion fund led by lawyer Ken­neth Fein­berg ap­proved 399 of the 4,343 claims filed and re­jected 3,944.

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

For ex­am­ple, she said, claims were sub­mit­ted for cars that weren’t part of the re­call for faulty ig­ni­tion switches in older com­pacts such as the Chevro­let Cobalt. In other cases, the air bags in­flated in the crash, an in­di­ca­tion that the ig­ni­tion switches were not at fault, Biros said.

Last year GM re­called 2.6 mil­lion small cars be­cause the ig­ni­tion switches could slip out of the run po­si­tion, caus­ing the cars to un­ex­pect­edly stall, dis­abling the air bags and power steer­ing and brakes.

The fund has made of­fers in 124 death cases and 275 in­jury crashes. Of those, 325 were ac- cepted, eight re­jected and 65 haven’t de­cided.

One in­jury claim was added to the el­i­gi­ble list in the past week

Fam­i­lies of those who died will get at least US$1 mil­lion. GM has set aside US$625 mil­lion to com­pen­sate peo­ple.

GM said in a sec­ond-quar­ter fil­ing with se­cu­ri­ties reg­u­la­tors that it had paid US$280 mil­lion to com­pen­sate ig­ni­tion switch crash vic­tims and their fam­i­lies as of July 17.

The com­pany said it faces 181 wrong­ful death or in­jury law­suits due to re­called ve­hi­cles in the U.S. and Canada.

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