When problems with General Motors' ignition switches first began making headlines last winter, there were reports of six deaths linked to the faulty devices. Two weeks later, that number shot up to 13, and it's been climbing ever since.
GM eventually started a fund to pay for claims associated with the faulty switches and put attorney Ken Feinberg in charge of evaluating each application to the fund. Earlier this week, those claims reached a grim milestone: 100 approved claims for injuries and deaths.
The fund reached the century mark on Monday, as Feinberg announced that four new instances of wrongful death had been linked to the ignition switches as well as seven injuries. That brings the number of fatalities to 42 and the number of injuries to 58.
Both numbers will likely increase. The fund has received 2,326 claims to date. Of that number, 306 have been rejected, 568 have been judged deficient, and 907 haven't included verifying information. However, 445 claims are currently under review, 46 of which are for wrongful death.
Among the 100 claimants whose applications have been approved, 57 have received settlement offers, none of which have been rejected and 22 of which have been paid. GM has said that it projects payouts to reach $400 million, though the sum could be much closer to $600 million.
If you're planning to file a claim with the fund, Feinberg has extended the application deadline to January 31. The list of vehicles eligible for claims includes:
- 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
- 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
- 2007 Daewoo G2X
- 2007 Opel/Vauxhall GT
- 2005-2006 Pontiac G4
- 2007 Pontiac G5
- 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit
- 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
- 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
- 2007 Saturn Sky