— News of the GM compensation fund might be coming to a close as all death and injury claims have been evaluated and processed.
The General Motors ignition switch compensation fund was created after the automaker admitted defective ignition switches had been in cars for over 10 years. Facing the potential of hundreds of lawsuits and making mistakes such as sending recall notices to deceased car owners, the fund administrator set aside $600 million and opened the doors on August 1, 2014.
The program was created to compensate people affected by deadly ignition switches than can turn off while driving. A bump from a knee, a bump in the road or a heavy key ring can cause the ignition switch to move from the "run" position to the "accessory" or "off" position. With the engine dead, a car will lose all power steering and power brakes and lead to an accident.
Making matters even more deadly, the airbags won't deploy with the ignition turned off and occupants will have no protection in a crash.
GM said family members of those who died are eligible for at least $1 million and the spouse or dependent of a deceased victim will qualify for an additional $300,000.
What started with the automaker admitting 13 deaths related to the faulty switches has turned into a total of 124 deaths in GM vehicles. Based on GM documents, the fund administrator has reached the end of the process and it's unlikely the final tally will change.
GM says some of the final numbers were adjusted from past estimates because the category of a claim may have been adjusted. However, the totals as of July 31, 2015, are as follows:
- Total Death Claims: 473
- Eligible: 124
- Ineligible: 349
- Deficient: 0
Category One Injury Claims (Quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage and serious burns)
- Total Category One Injury Claims: 280
- Eligible: 18
- Ineligible: 262
- Deficient: 0
Category Two Injury Claims (Injuries that required medical treatment within 48 hours of the accident)
- Total Category Two Injury Claims: 3,590
- Eligible: 257
- Ineligible: 3333
- Deficient: 6