GM Ignition Defect Linked to 64 Deaths
Since last August, GM has been accepting claims from victims and loved ones who have suffered a loss due to defective ignition switches. There have been 4,343 claims submitted to the compensation fund of which about 2,600 have been ruled ineligible and 1,571 are still under review. According to a recent USA Today news report, the number of families eligible for compensation because a defective ignition switch resulted in a fatality has increased from 57 to 64. That means that these faulty auto parts have killed at least 64 people. There are also 108 claimants who survived their injuries but are still eligible for compensation.
GM expects to lose between $400 and $600 million through the victim’;s fund, but that number could go up as the investigation continues. GM’;s liability is related to when they became aware of the problem and when they finally decided to issue a recall. The automaker knew of the defective switches in small vehicles such as the Chevrolet Cobalt as early as 2004, but did not issue a recall until 2014. In these vehicles, the ignition keys can slip out of the on position, cutting off the engine. When this happens, the power-assist steering will stop working and the airbags will fail to work.
As the applications are evaluated, it will become clearer how many victims were hurt or killed because of the defective auto part. However, we may never know the exact number of victims. Many of the 2,600 claims that have been rejected were not accepted because of insufficient evidence. This does not mean that the claims were invalid, but that the applicants did not build a solid enough case against the manufacturer.
This points to the importance of building a solid case when filing a claim against an automaker, insurance provider or other liable party. It can help to have medical records that prove the extent of your injuries, photos that show the crash site and evidence showing how the defective part contributed to the accident. If you are the victim of a defective auto part, please contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer at Farah & Farah who can help hold the automaker accountable.