GM now admits 100 died due to their faulty ignition switches

Posted May 12, 2015 by Marcus Hondro
General Motors said on Monday it approved the 100th case of compensation for a death caused by a faulty ignition in one of their small cars. That number may grow much higher and litigation lawyers say that many deaths may never be accounted for.
The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the vehicles named as having a defect that was known for years but no...
The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the vehicles named as having a defect that was known for years but not reported by General Motors at recent Congressional hearings in Washington DC.
Bull-Doser/Wikimedia Commons
100 death claim payments
As the New York Times reported Monday, GM admitting to those 100 deaths indicates how far off they were last year when, during congressional hearings, the company said there were but 13 deaths due to faulty ignitions, a problem that without warning caused the ignition to shut the engine off while disabling the safety airbags.
"The success of the cover-up for over a decade leaves most of the victims unaccounted for. One hundred is not even the tip of the iceberg," said Robert Hilliard, a lead lawyer in a consolidation of lawyers litigating GM on behalf of clients.
The company recalled 2.6 million small cars involved last February and the death and injury claims have continued to come in since. To date the number of cases filed, before and after the recall, total over 4,300 claims for death and injury, a company handling the insurance claims for GM said Monday.
GM under investigation
In addition to the approved death payments, GM has also made payments in 184 injury cases; the Automotive News described 12 of the settled injury cases as catastrophic injuries that can include "paralysis, amputation, severe burns or brain damage."
There remain 37 death claims and almost 600 injury claims still under review. Some claims have either been dismissed or require more proof before compensation can be agreed upon.
GM was fined $35 million by federal regulators because they failed to report the ignition defect in a timely manner. The company is being investigated by the Justice Department, who will determine if there are grounds for civil penalties or even criminal charges.
In total, due to the faulty ignitions General Motors has either set aside or spent about $3 billion on recalls, payouts and prospective payouts.