The number of families ruled eligible for compensation from General Motors for loved ones’ deaths in crashes caused by defective ignition switches increased to 64 last week, up seven from a week earlier.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the total Monday. An additional 108 injured people also are eligible for compensation.
Since the compensation fund began accepting claims last August, 4,343 claims have been submitted. More than half – 2,600 – were found ineligible or the person submitting the claim didn’t include sufficient evidence. There are still 1,571 cases under review.
Feinberg and his staff have discretion to calculate the amount of each eligible case’s compensation. The applicant can accept or reject it.
The automaker has estimated the compensation fund will cost between $400 million and $600 million, but the review process is continuing.
The automaker knew about problem switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade, but didn’t begin recalling them until February 2014. The ignition keys can slip out of the “on” position, which cuts off the engine, knocks out power steering and turns off air bags.