DETROIT -- The death toll from General Motors' defective ignition switch has risen by seven fatalities from a week earlier to 64, the administrator of GM's compensation fund said Monday.
The office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing victim compensation on GM's behalf, had approved 64 death claims and 108 injury claims as of March 6, according to an update released Monday.
The deadline for victims to file claims was Jan. 31. Feinberg's office is expected to continue processing them until late spring or early summer.
GM hired Feinberg to compensate victims last year amid its recall of the faulty switch, which can be jarred out of the run position, cutting power to the power steering, brakes and airbags. A person seeking compensation must prove that the airbag did not deploy, and must show that the defective switch was the primary factor in the crash.
A GM-backed investigation last year found that several engineers and attorneys were aware of the problem for as long as a decade but did not elevate the issue to the top levels of the company.
Feinberg's office had received 4,343 claims as of March 6. Of those, 172 were deemed eligible. Another 1,571 still are under review.
GM estimated that it will pay out $400 million to $600 million in compensation through the Feinberg process.