— General Motors has approved 67 death claims related to defective ignition switches that caused cars to shut off while driving and led to airbag failures.
GM opened the ignition switch compensation fund with $400 million and another $200 million in reserve if needed. As the automaker was overwhelmed by hundreds of lawsuits related to the switches, GM created the fund to keep some cases out of court. Accepting a settlement from the fund means waiving the right to sue GM for the defective switch.
As of March 13, 2015, GM has paid out $93 million to victims of the ignition switches, including to family members of those killed and to those people who were injured in crashes.
To date, 67 death claims have been approved out of 475 submitted death claims. GM says 129 death claims have been classified as ineligible, 113 claims are listed as deficient, 33 were submitted without documentation and 133 death claims are still under review.
Injury claims are separated into categories:
Category one injuries include quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage and serious burns.
A total of 289 category one injury claims have been received, 11 injury claims have been approved, 85 are listed as ineligible, 40 injury claims are considered deficient, 54 have been submitted without documentation and 99 category one injury claims are still under review.
Category two injuries are those that required medical treatment within 48 hours of the accident.
A total of 3,578 category two injury claims have been received, 102 injury claims have been approved, 606 are listed as ineligible, 913 claims are listed as deficient, 697 have been submitted without documentation and 1,260 category two injury claims are still under review.
The number of approved claims is expected to rise considering 1,492 death and injury claims are still under review. GM says it could be months before the final tally is complete.
For GM owners who skipped applying to the compensation fund and chose to file lawsuits, those lawsuits grew in number when just days ago, another massive ignition switch lawsuit was brought against the automaker.