Product Recalls Update: GM Ignition Switch Claims Rise

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The number of product recalls claims in the General Motors ignition switch settlement continues to rise.

According to the head of GM’s settlement fund, Kenneth Feinberg, the number of claims jumped by 52 percent in one week alone.  Last week, 675 claims had been filed, up from 445 the week before.

Most of the new product recalls claims were claims for personal injury, including 65 claims for serious injury and 467 hospitalizations.  To date, only 16 injury claims have been approved for compensation and 25 claims have been denied.

Death claims have also increased, with 143 now filed.  There were 18 new death claims filed last week.  Although GM had previously acknowledged only 13 deaths linked to the defective ignition switches, 21 death claims have been approved by the settlement fund’s administrator.

GM has promised to pay at least $1 million for each valid death claim.  Settlements approved for injured persons who were hospitalized range from $20,000 to $500,000.  Individuals who suffered catastrophic injuries will be compensated for the cost of medical treatment for their lifetime.

General Motors has set aside $400 million to $600 million to pay approved claims.  The company has not set an limit on compensation and will accept the decision of the fund administrator.  The fund administrator has stated that it will be four to six weeks before the cost of the ignition switch settlement fund can be better estimated.  All claims for compensation must be filed no later than December 31, 2014.

In 2014, 2.6 million General Motors vehicles have been recalled due to faulty ignition switches.  Although the recall did not occur until this year, GM has now admitted that it was aware of the defect for at least a decade.  Ignition switches in the recalled vehicles can suddenly and unexpectedly slip into the “accessory” position while the vehicle is being operated, shutting off the engine and disabling safety features such as power-assisted steering, air bags and anti-lock brakes.

The Ohio GM ignition switch attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List are investigating claims for personal injury and wrongful death arising from accidents involving recalled GM vehicles.  If you or a loved one were involved in such an accident, contact Clark, Perdue & List immediately.  Your time to file a claim in the GM ignition switch settlement fund is limited.