GM Death Toll Rises Again: 21 Dead Due to Ignition Switch Defect

In a report provided by an independent compensation expert Monday, the death toll due to GM’s faulty ignition switches is now 21. That’s up from the 19 reported last week by Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert and attorney, in his first public update since GM hired him last spring to evaluate claims arising from injuries caused by the defect. Since the record-breaking recalls began in February, GM had repeatedly claimed to be aware of only 13 deaths.

Since August 1, Feinberg, who oversees the GM ignition-recall compensation program, has received 675 claims for deaths or serious injuries that are alleged to be caused by the ignition defect. That’s up 52% from the number of last week’s claims, which stood at 445. Claims are still under review and will be accepted by the program through December 31. GM has set aside $400 million to compensate victims.

The mammoth recall has grown to approximately 2.6 million vehicles, many of which remain on the road today. The recall currently includes 18 different models of GM cars including various models of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac cars.

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