GM Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises To 84 People

Illustration for article titled GM Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises To 84 People

While 2015 has been generally less full of recall crises than last year, the fallout from the General Motors ignition switch fiasco continues unabated. Today, the fund tasked with overseeing compensation to victims of the switch and their families approved another four death claims, bringing the official death total to 84.

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The Detroit News reports the compensation fund also approved nine new injury claims, bringing that total to 157, 11 of which were described as serious injuries. GM will pay at least $1 million for each death claim, and claimants or their families forfeit the right to sue the automaker.

The claims are related to a defective ignition switch on 2.6 million now-recalled Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other vehicles where the switch could potentially turn to “accessory” mode during driving, disabling the power steering and airbags. GM knew of the problem for about a decade before issuing a recall in early 2014.

Nearly 4,400 claims were submitted before the Jan 31. deadline, and 1,136 claims are still under review, including 73 death claims, the News reports.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.

DISCUSSION

beehaze
Brian Douglas Hayes

The ignition switch killed 84 people? Or 84 people died because the drivers of their vehicles didn’t react properly to a faulty component that simply caused a loss of the ability to accelerate?

There’s no denying there’s a design flaw with that switch, but ultimately the responsibility to maintain control of the vehicle lies with the driver. I can understand the outrage if a safety system (brakes, seat belts, airbags, etc.) were faulty, but an ignition switch? C’mon.