GM ignition switch compensation fund rejects 91% of claims

Automaker's lawyers say those rejected couldn't support any connection the company's deadly ignition switch recalls.

DETROIT — Lawyers hired to compensate victims of General Motors’ faulty ignition switches have finished determining which claims are eligible, rejecting 91% of them.

The compensation fund led by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg approved 399 of the 4,343 claims filed and rejected 3,944.

Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the fund, said Aug. 24 the claims that were rejected “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.

Two injury claims were added to the eligible list in the past week.

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Families of those who died will get at least $1 million. GM has set aside $625 million to compensate people.

GM said in a second-quarter filing with securities regulators that it had paid $280 million to compensate ignition switch crash victims and their families as of July 17.

The company said it faces 181 wrongful death or injury lawsuits due to recalled vehicles in the US and Canada.

© 2015 The Associated Press

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