GM ignition switch review approves 3 more injuries

Three more minor injuries have been linked to General Motors’ defective ignition switches, the office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg said.

Feinberg was hired by GM last year to independently compensate victims of crashes caused by the automaker’s faulty ignition switches, which prompted the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles in 2014.

The switches, which can be jostled out of the “run” position, cutting power to the engine and power steering, have been linked to 124 deaths. GM originally said it knew of 13 deaths related to the defect.

GM has set aside $550 million to pay victims. Death claims are eligible for a $1 million payout and $300,000 each for the surviving spouse and any dependants.

Feinberg’s office has nearly completed its review of more than 4,000 compensation claims related to the recall. There are 285 “deficient” claims, which require further documentation to elicit a decision, that remain open. Decisions have been rendered on the remaining claims.

Last week, the fund’s deputy administrator, Camille Biros, told Automotive News that people with deficient claims were given rolling deadlines to submit further documents, and the last deadline for these documents is July 31.

Since the firm began giving deficient claims a second review last week, three more claims of minor injuries -- requiring hospitalization or outpatient medical treatment within 48 hours of the accident -- have been linked to the ignition switch, bringing the total minor injuries related to the recall to 251.

The defect also has been linked to 18 serious injuries.

Feinberg’s office also ruled 165 more claims ineligible. Of the 4,342 claims filed, 3,664 have been found ineligible.

You can reach Nora Naughton at nnaughton@crain.com -- Follow Nora on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NoraNaughton

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