General Motors Extends Ignition-Switch Compensation Claims Deadline

Nov 17, 2014 10:00 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

Those who are looking to file claims under General Motors' faulty ignition-switch compensation program were given an extra month this weekend, as the deadline was extended to Jan. 31, 2015.

The news was announced by the program's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg on Sunday, who added that a notice of the extension was sent to about four and a half million current and previous owners of eligible vehicles.

The extension is being implemented "out of an abundance of caution," he added, according to Reuters.

GM said in a statement that it agreed with the extension of the deadline.

"Our goal with the program has been to reach every eligible person impacted," the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The issue led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles earlier this year.

The GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility started accepting claims back on Aug. 1 and received 1,851 claims for deaths and serious injuries linked to the switch as of Nov. 7.

GM is offering $25 gift cards to owners of vehicles affected by the switch issue if they bring in their cars to dealerships to have ignition switch repairs completed no later than Dec. 1.

The promotion is available to 700,000 people, but only those who haven't ordered parts or contacted a dealer to get their ignition switch fixed yet.

Before Feinberg was hired to administer an uncapped fun to compensation victims of accidents caused by defective ignition switches, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and GM identified 13 related fatalities, according to Reuters.

Since then, 61 claims have been determined eligible for compensation, including 30 deaths and 31 injuries.

Last week, Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, wrote a letter to Feinberg saying that he should expand outreach efforts and "scour" federal car-safety databases for accidents in recalled vehicles in order to figure out whether the switch was to blame for more injuries or deaths, according to Reuters.

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