ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.

According to claims approved by the GM compensation fund, 117 people died from ignition switches.

Posted in News

Fund: GM Ignition Switches Have Killed 117 People
According to claims approved by the GM compensation fund, 117 people died from ignition switches.

— General Motors and its defective ignition switches have been involved in 117 deaths and 354 injuries, that's according to the administrator of the ignition switch compensation fund created by GM.

Facing government investigations, the recalls of millions of cars and the challenge of lawsuits, GM created the compensation fund after the government and public discovered the automaker hid deadly defects for over 10 years. The fund stopped accepting claim submissions on January 31, 2015.

The deaths and injuries were caused by ignition switches that can move out of the "run" position just by using a heavy key ring, driving over a rough road or from a bump to the key from the knee. In some cases the ignition switch can move to the "accessory" position, and in other cases the switch can move to the "off" position and shut down the car.

With the ignition switch off, a driver suddenly lost power steering, power brakes and the protection of the airbags if the car crashed.

For over 10 years there were accidents blamed on drivers who had no idea what really happened. Some GM owners were convicted of crimes for accidents caused by the defective ignition switches, all while GM kept quiet about the defects.

In one case, GM owner Candice Anderson believed she was responsible for the death of her fiance, until Candice was finally found innocent after it was proven the ignition switch caused the crash.

In February 2014, GM had admitted 31 accidents had caused 13 deaths in GM cars, but that number is now 117 deaths based on eligible claims approved by administrators of the compensation fund. GM says as of June 19, 2015, only 16 death claims are left to review out of a total of 474 submitted fatality claims.

Death Claims

  • Total Death Claims: 474
  • Eligible: 117
  • Ineligible: 287
  • Deficient: 54
  • Under Review: 16
  • Submitted With No Documentation: 0

Category One Injury Claims (Quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage and serious burns)

  • Total Category One Injury Claims: 289
  • Eligible: 13
  • Ineligible: 198
  • Deficient: 51
  • Under Review: 27
  • Submitted With No Documentation: 0

Category Two Injury Claims (Injuries that required medical treatment within 48 hours of the accident)

  • Total Category Two Injury Claims: 3,579
  • Eligible: 224
  • Ineligible: 2389
  • Deficient: 930
  • Under Review: 36
  • Submitted With No Documentation: 0

Total Death and Injury Claims: 4,342
Eligible: 354
Ineligible: 2874
Deficient: 1035
Under Review: 79
Submitted With No Documentation: 0


Become a Fan & Spread the Word