The final tally is in following a lengthy investigation into death and injury claims surrounding GM’s faulty ignition switches. At the end of the day, USA Today reports that lawyers hired to compensate the victims rejected 91% of them. The compensation fund led by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg approved 399 of the 4,343 claims filed and rejected 3,944 of them. Two injury claims were added to the eligible list just in the past week.
Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the fund, says the nearly 4,000 rejected claims “couldn’t support any connection to the ignition switch.”
For example, she said, claims were submitted for cars that weren’t part of the recall for faulty ignition switches in older compacts such as the Chevrolet Cobalt. In other cases, the air bags inflated in the crash, an indication that the ignition switches were not at fault, Biros said.
Last year, GM recalled 2.6 million small cars because the ignition switches could slip out of the run position, causing the cars to unexpectedly stall, disabling the air bags and power steering and brakes.
The fund has made offers in 124 death cases and 275 injury crashes. Of those, 325 were accepted, eight rejected and 65 haven’t decided.
Families of those killed in ignition switch related crashes will get at least $1 million. GM has set aside $625 million to compensate people. The automaker says it’s paid out $280 million to compensate ignition switch crash victims and their families as of July 17.
The company also faces 181 wrongful death or injury lawsuits due to recalled vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.