Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney handling the General Motors compensation fund, has confirmed that the number of eligible deaths linked to the auto manufacturers faulty ignition switch has hit 84.
General Motors (GM) initial estimation was approximately 13, while safety advocates originally believed the number was closer to 300. Following the establishment of a compensation fund, the number has steadily climbed.
The number of confirmed injury reports has also increased from 148 to 157 in just one week. Eleven claims have been categorized as serious injuries that resulted in quadriplegia, paraplegia, amputation, permanent brain damage or widespread burns.
Feinberg has been working aggressively to approve or deny claims filed over GM's defective ignition switch. More than 4,300 claims were submitted and 1,136 are still in review.
GM estimated that they will have to pay upwards of $600 million to compensate victims of their ignition switch. The company has already been fined $35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to disclose safety problems in a timely manner.
GM Ignition Switch Disaster
As the popular automaker continued to recall vehicles early in 2014, information began to trickle out that GM may have known about a defective ignition switch years before. Over time, it was revealed that GM was aware of the ignition defect in 2001.
Additionally, rental car companies warned GM about a possible defect as early as 2005 following the death of a rental car driver.
In the fall of 2014, GM announced that they would be opening up a compensation fund for victims of their defective ignition switches. Families who lost a loved one and those injured in a GM vehicle impacted by the defect could be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and more.
However, GM is still embroiled in a battle with vehicle owners who believe that their vehicles value diminished as a result of the auto manufacturers recalls in 2014.
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