Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Death claims from faulty GM ignition switch rise to 50.

The AP (1/26, Krisher) reports that “with only five days left before the deadline to seek payments, compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg has decided that 50 death cases are eligible for money due to crashes caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches.” Seventy-five injuries were also declared eligible in details released on Monday by Feinberg, who was hired by GM to oversee the claims. A fund set up by GM “has received 338 death claims and 2,730 claims for injuries,” the AP reports. “Of those, 58 death claims have been rejected as ineligible for compensation, as have 328 injury claims. Feinberg is either reviewing or awaiting documentation on 230 additional death claims and 2,327 injury cases.”
        A Bloomberg News (1/26, Sandler, 2.94M) piece picked up by Automotive News reports that the 50 death claims ruled as eligible on Monday is four times larger than GM’s initial estimate. According to Bloomberg, Feinberg said his findings – unlike GM’s – relied on circumstantial evidence. “GM engineers were looking for definitive proof of ignition switch failure,” Feinberg is quoted saying. “So of course there will be a greater number of eligible death claims.” The story was also reported by Reuters (1/26), Auto World News (1/26, Ecarma, 1K), and Autoblog (1/26, Bigelow, 454K).
        GM: Nearly 900k defective ignition switches still in use. Auto World News (1/26, 1K) reports that documentation filed by General Motors with the NHTSA last week “shows that almost 900,000 GM vehicles with potentially defective ignition switches are still being used.” GM “says that out of a recall of approximately 2,190,934 vehicles, just 1,229,529 vehicles have been repaired by dealers,” Auto World News reports. “The total number of ‘unreachable’ vehicles is up to 80,122, according to the Detroit automaker.” 

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