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Auto giant, GM blunders, faulty switch kills 97



At least 97 people have died from cases linked to faulty ignition switches on some cars produced by General Motors (GM) the largest US automaker which said Monday that it is weighing compensation claims.

The GM independent compensation fund said that 45 death claims remained under review as of last Friday. The death toll rose from 90 confirmed claims in the prior week.

The fund, administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, has been working through 4,342 compensation claims for fatalities and injuries linked to the faulty equipment, which can cause the ignition to unintentionally switch out of the “on” position, disabling airbags and other functions.

GM knew of the ignition problem for more than a decade before it began recalling 2.6 million cars in February 2014.

The fund said Monday there were at least 12 confirmed cases of crippling injuries, such as brain damage or double amputation, as a result of ignition-related crashes. And there were at least 167 eligible claims for hospitalization or outpatient medical treatment.

The fund said that it still had a total of 669 claims under review. GM will pay a minimum $1 million in death compensation, $300,000 for the surviving spouse and another $300,000 for each surviving dependent.

Financial and medical treatment compensation of at least $20,000 will also be offered to those with eligible physical injury claims from an accident. Claimants must waive any rights to litigation related to the ignition-switch defect to receive a payment.

GM faces a Justice Department probe of its conduct in the long-delayed recall and numerous other lawsuits.

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  1. Jedimaster

    May 6, 2015 at 7:14 am

    No amount of money can replace a life. They should spend more time in quality control instead of rushing production at the cost of life.

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