Fatalities blamed on recalled General Motors vehicles with defective ignitions rose to 27 this week, up three from the previous week according to independent compensation expert and attorney Kenneth Feinberg. At least 151 other death claims are currently under review.
Claims for non-fatal injuries rose to 1,193 from 1130 last week. Of those, Feinberg’s office reported that 85 are considered “Category One” for serious injuries including quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or severe burns. The other 1108 injury claims are “Category Two,” defined as injuries requiring a visit to a hospital within 48 hours of an accident. Twenty-five injury claims have so far been approved for payout offers.
This week’s report marks the fifth time the official death toll has risen since Feinberg’s office began giving public updates in mid-September. Prior to that, GM had repeatedly claimed to know of only 13 fatalities.
GM has admitted it was aware of the problem with the faulty ignition switches for at least a decade. An affected switch, when bumped by a drivers’ knee, can shut the vehicle’s power down and disable safety features such as airbags. GM finally began recalling the cars and SUVs in February 2014, making numerous additional recall actions throughout the year. The massive recall now stands at approximately 2.6 million vehicles.
GM 2014 Recalled Vehicles List: Update
On October 7, GM issued a new updated list of 2014 recalls, which now total 75 in North America alone. Click here to see GM’s latest list of recalls to date.