Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing the fund, also told Reuters that
since the fund was set up a week ago 65 others had filed physical
injury claims as of Friday afternoon. However, he added that the
death claims had not yet been confirmed as being eligible for
Feinberg, who started taking claims from Aug. 1 and will continue
until Dec. 31, will determine the number of claims eligible for
payments and final payouts.
GM earlier this year recalled 2.6 million cars for the faulty
ignition switches, which can cause engine stalls and stop power
steering and power brakes from operating and air bags from
deploying. It has also admitted not fixing the problem for a decade.
The number of death claims represents nearly five times the 13
deaths that GM has attributed to the defective switches.
The Detroit-based automaker has set aside $400 million to cover
victims' claims, but the amount could grow because the fund is not
Lawyers for various plaintiffs have said several dozen deaths may
ultimately be attributed to the switches.
[to top of second column]
The payouts from the compensation fund for eligible claims are
expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2015, Feinberg
said in June, adding that the families for those who died would
likely be awarded at least $1 million.
Feinberg has previously handled a compensation fund for victims of
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and a BP Plc <BP.L> fund for victims of
the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore and Julia Edwards in Washington;
Editing by Bernard Orr and Ken Wills)
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