Death Toll in Ignition Switch Recall Reaches 100
Since February of 2014, General Motors has recalled 2.59 million vehicles for a faulty small-car ignition switch that can cause all electrical components of a vehicle to unintentionally turn off, including the engine and airbags, resulting in countless auto accidents. The recall included Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt models.
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Since that initial recall more than one year ago, GM is reporting the number of deaths that have been classified as a direct result of the defective ignition switches has reached 100. There are still another 37 death and 589 injury claims that need to be reviewed by Kenneth Feinberg, the GM appointed manager of the compensation fund for victims.
With hopes that all claims will be completed by the end of July, as of May 8, only 184 injury claims have been approved for compensation. Many reviews still need to be finished and deficient claims that were submitted without any documentation need to be revisited in hopes that the families can provide more evidence.
The recall was a result of a settlement in a lawsuit over the death of Brooke Melton who died in an auto accident that occurred when her Chevrolet Cobalt became disabled on a Georgia Highway. Melton’s family successfully sued and settled with the Detroit-based automaker in 2013 for $5 million for causing Brooke’s wrongful death.
The lawsuit revealed that GM’s CEO Mary Barra knew about the about the ignition switch defects but waited for almost a decade from the first complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before issuing a recall.
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