GM is digging into their pockets to compensate the victims of the faulty ignition switch recall
By: Darrell Castle
General Motors (GM) has hired compensation expert, Kenneth Feinberg, to administer a fund established to pay the victims and families who were affected by the GM ignition switch recall.
You may remember back in February and March when GM recalled 2.6 million 2003-2011 small GM cars worldwide. This recall was to replace defective ignition switches linked to 54 car accidents and 13 deaths.
For the compensation fund, the critical element in the faulty ignition switch is disabled airbags.
If the airbags inflated in a crash, “you’re not eligible. Automatic disqualification” for the compensation fund according to Feinberg.
“But if the airbag didn’t deploy, it could have been the switch,” he said. “If the airbag didn’t deploy, or you don’t know if the airbag deployed, file a claim.”
It’s important to note that when using the term “compensation fund,” no limit has been set on payment to individuals, nor the total fund. It all goes back to GM CEO Mary Barra’s promise that GM will “do the right thing” for the victims and that the sky’s the limit on total spending to pay them.
“Money is a poor substitute for loss…it’s the best we can do,” Feinberg said.
Anyone who suffered injury or death as a result of the ignition switch, including people in other vehicles involved in accidents with the recalled GM vehicles, is entitled to the fund and should file a claim.
GM expects about 90% of the claims to be settled through the fund.
This is encouraging news today. Like Feinberg said, money is a poor substitute for the losses many families suffered, but it’s the best they can do. GM is certainly opening up their deep pockets to restore relationships the best they possibly can after the company’s incompetent behavior, and that’s really all you can ask for at this point.
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