General Motors Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises to 80

Apr 08, 2015 11:07 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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The number of deaths linked to a faulty ignition switches in General Motors vehicles increased by three last week, as lawyer Kenneth Feinberg looks to finish reviewing claims before this summer.

The approved number of death claims rose to 80 and 148 injury claims have been approved as of April 3, according to a detailed report released by the GM's Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility website.

The amount of injury claims approved by Feinberg's office is a combination of "Category One" and "Category Two" claims, which either resulted in a serious injury or required a hospital visit within 48 hours of an accident.

Feinberg's office has determined that 228 of 4,342 overall claims are eligible and an additional 1,246 claims still need to be reviewed, according to the report.

So far 1,203 claims have been determined ineligible, including 172 death claims.

An alarming number of claims have been submitted with no documentation at all, including 27 death claims, 31 Category One claims and 524 Category Two claims, according to the GM report.

The deadline to file a claim to GM was extended by a month in November to January 31 so that victims would have plenty of time to file with Feinberg's office.

The GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility program started accepting claims back on Aug. 1. GM set aside about $400 million in 2014 to cover its costs of compensation for claims on behalf of those who were injured or killed as a result of the faulty switches.

The amount could grow to $600 million before Feinberg is done presumably sometime this spring.

The Detroit-based automaker made headlines most of last year for knowing about issues with its switches for more than a decade before recalling 2.6 million vehicles.

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