IGNITION SWITCH REDESIGN: In an attempt to resolve its ‘cheap-feeling’ switches, GM redesigned its ignition switches. Unfortunately, the new switches led to at least 124 deaths and several recalls. Image: AP / Evan Vucci
DETROIT, Michigan - Faulty ignition switches in General Motors’ vehicles were responsible for at least 124 deaths and 269 injuries, according to a fund set up to compensate victims.
GM recalled 2.6-million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars in 2014 but acknowledged that it had known about the ignition switch problems for more than a decade.
The fund, administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, updated the totals on Monday (July 20 2015). The death toll had not grown from the previous week but three more people had been injured.
Victims' families are being offered compensation of at least $1-million - each.
The fund has finished processing the 4342 claims it had received by the January 31 2015 deadline and 84% (3664) were deemed ineligible. Feinberg was waiting for more documents for 285 claims.
Fund spokesperson Camille Biros said 319 compensation offers had been made so far- 227 had been accepted, six rejected.