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GM Ignition-Switch Defect Update: 42 Death Claims Approved

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 15, 2014 10:49 AM

GM has agreed to compensate 42 claimants for deaths related to an ignition-switch defect, part of more than 2,000 death and injury claims that have been filed against the car manufacturer so far.

Victims and their families who were injured by the faulty ignition switch have until January 31 to submit their claims, which will be categorized based on the severity of the injuries, reports MLive.com. GM anticipates that total compensation related to the ignition-switch defect will run anywhere from $400 million to $600 million.

What should car owners know about this GM injury claims process?

Categories of Injury

GM has established a victim compensation fund to handle the thousands of potential claims related to injuries or deaths caused by its faulty ignition switch. This fund will allow victims and their families to save the trouble of attempting to sue GM or join a class action suit by simply submitting their claims and settling with the company out of court.

The compensation fund is only accepting claims related to physical injury or death from the GM defect, which it categorizes as:

  • Deceased;
  • Category One (which includes quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage, or pervasive burns); and
  • Category Two (which includes injuries that required a hospital visit within 48 hours of an accident).

According to statistics from the GM compensation fund, there have been 2,326 claims total filed since it started accepting claims in August, but only 100 have been deemed eligible as of December 12.

2.2 Million U.S. Vehicles Recalled

MLive reports that GM has recalled 2.2 million vehicles in the United States related to the ignition-switch defect, including Saturn Ion, Saturn Sky, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Chevy Cobalt, and Pontiac G5 models. Ironically, the quick fix to the defect is to get a replacement key with a smaller key ring hole rather than the standard "slot" at the top of many keys.

Yet this small defect has cost at least 42 people their lives, with the GM compensation fund still reviewing 34 death claims for eligibility. If you have been turned down by the GM compensation fund, or you feel that you'd like to hear all of your options before settling, you may speak with a GM recall attorney for free.

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