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GM Recall Compensation Fund: 4K Claims, 93 Settlement Offers So Far

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

GM's ignition-switch recall compensation fund is no longer accepting claims, as the January 31 deadline has passed. But that doesn't mean consumers are without recourse if they (or their loved ones) were injured in a recalled vehicle.

As you probably know, GM issued a series of recalls in 2014 after an ignition-switch defect in about 2.6 million vehicles was linked to dozens of injuries and deaths. As federal investigations began, GM set up a victim compensation fund to deal with death and injury claims.

In a regulatory filing released Wednesday, GM disclosed details about the fate of many of those claims, The Detroit News reports. Here's what consumers need to know:

GM Compensation Fund Claims: By the Numbers

GM's victim compensation fund began accepting claims August 1, 2014. According to GM's regulatory filing, during the six-month claims period that ended January 31:

  • A total of 4,180 claims were filed, including more than 1,100 in the final week alone;
  • So far, 482 claims have been rejected, including one that sought compensation for a dog's death; and
  • Reportedly, 455 claims involved a death. Officially, 51 deaths have now been linked to the GM ignition-switch defect.

To date, GM has made 93 settlement offers, and none have yet been rejected, according to The Detroit News. It could take another six months to review all of the claims.

Is It Too Late to File a Claim?

Though GM is standing by its January 31 cutoff date for compensation fund claims, some politicians want the company to extend the deadline. Regardless, anyone injured in a recalled GM vehicle may still be able to pursue legal action; because each case is different, an experienced attorney can review your claim and advise you on the best way to proceed.

As for GM car owners who believe they've suffered economic damages (i.e., loss of their vehicle's market value) because of the recalls, a potential legal roadblock related to GM's 2009 bankruptcy reorganization could stand in the way of compensation. (We previously blogged about the "old GM" v. "new GM" issue here.)

Despite the potential bankruptcy reorganization issue, more than 100 class-action lawsuits have been filed against GM seeking economic damages. The bankruptcy issue is being heard in a New York courtroom this week, The Detroit News reports.

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