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GM Ignition Switch Victims Plan For Compensation

Earlier this year, General Motors (“GM”) recalled 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches. When jostled or bumped, the defective ignition can switch itself into accessory mode, which shuts down the engine and disables power steering, power brakes, and airbags. This can occur even when the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds. At least 13 deaths have been linked to the flawed ignition switch. There is no telling how many more people have been injured or killed as a result of the defect.

Yesterday, GM announced a compensation plan for victims of the defect. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles involved in crashes resulting in physical injury or death because of an ignition switch failure are eligible to receive compensation under the program so long as those crashes occurred before December 31, 2014 and involved one of the following vehicles:

  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2007 Daewoo G2X
  • 2007 Opel/Vauxhall GT
  • 2005-2006 Pontiac G4
  • 2007 Pontiac G5
  • 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit
  • 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2007 Saturn Sky

Claims can be filed from August 1, 2014 through the end of the year. A website and toll free number will be established to process claims. Families of those who died will receive at least $1 million, and added to that will be a calculation of lifetime lost earnings and $300,000 for a spouse and each dependent. People with life-altering catastrophic injuries could receive considerably more in compensation, including the cost of medical care and lost wages. The plan also allows payment to those who suffered less serious injuries based on a sliding scale formula.