General Motors Ignition-Switch Death Toll Reaches 84

Apr 14, 2015 07:30 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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The number of deaths linked to a faulty ignition switches in General Motors vehicles rose to 84 on Monday, as lawyer Kenneth Feinberg looks to finish reviewing claims within the next couple of weeks.

Feinberg's office approved of 84 death claims and 157 injury claims as of April 10, according to the latest GM's Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility report.

The injury claims are 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.

Though Feinberg doesn't allow people to submit new claims anymore, the death toll has been rising since the Jan. 31 deadline based on cases that were submitted on time.

Since then, the death toll has risen significantly compared to the 13 deaths GM originally attributed to the faulty ignition switches found in Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other vehicles. The issue can turn off the engine inadvertently and disable power steering and air bags.

GM finally admitted to knowing about the issue for more than a decade last year before launching a massive recall that affected 2.6 million vehicles.

Officially, Feinberg's office received a total of 4,342 claims, of which 241 have been deemed eligible so far. The attorney's office still has to review at least 1,136 more claims, according to the latest report.

GM expects to pay around $400 to $600 million in order to compensate victims through the resolution fund.

Those who take payouts as part of the compensation fund waive their rights to sue the Detroit-automaker. GM is willing to pay at least $1 million for each death claim.

GM has not set a cap on the amount Feinberg's office can spend to provide enough restitution.

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