General Motors Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises to 87

Apr 21, 2015 07:40 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Attorney Kenneth Feinberg updated the total number of eligible deaths linked to faulty General Motors ignition switches to 87 on Monday, according to the latest report by GM's Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility.

The death toll has increased slowly since Feinberg's office set a Jan. 31 deadline to submit new claims. Since last week, the compensation facility approved of three new eligible death claims meanwhile the number of confirmed injury claims remained at 157 people, according to the resolution facility report.

The injury claims are a combination of "Category One" claims, like permanent brain damage or amputation, and "Category Two" claims, like injuries requiring hospitalization at least 48 hours after an accident.  

So far 113 GM compensation offers have been accepted by victims or their families and five have been rejected. Those who choose to take payouts waive their right to sue GM.

More than 1,085 cases remain "Under Review" since the fund was created in August 2014. So far, 1,335 claims have been deemed "Ineligible" by the resolution facility, including 184 death claims.

The Detroit-automaker is willing to pay up to $1 million for each death claim and $400 to $600 million in order to compensate all victims, according to The Wall-Street Journal.

GM has not set an official cap on the amount Feinberg can spend to provide compensation.

In 2014, GM admitted to knowing about faulty ignition switches for more than a decade before calling for a huge recall that affected 2.6 million company vehicles. The issue can turn off the engine inadvertently and disable power steering and air bags.

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