GM won't limit ignition switch crash compensation

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Ignition switches have presented General Motors with significant safety issues this year. Here are details of the switch problems by the numbers:

   -- 2.6 million: The number of older small cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, that GM recalled in February to fix faulty ignition switches that it knew about for more than a decade. The recall touched off a review of ignitions in other GM vehicles.

   -- 17.1 million: The number of GM vehicles recalled as of Monday for ignition-related defects. Since the February recall, GM has issued five more recalls of ignitions as well as keys that may easily bump out of position. The latest recall, of 8.2 million large cars including the Chevrolet Malibu, happened Monday.

   -- 13: The number of people GM says died in crashes related to ignition switch problems in small cars.

   -- 3: The number of people GM says died in crashes in the vehicles recalled Monday. GM says it doesn't yet know if the ignition switches caused the crashes.

   -- 165: The number of people GM victims' advocates say have died in crashes related to ignition switch problems in small cars.

   -- 1997: Oldest model year of a vehicle recalled for a faulty ignition. The 1997 Chevrolet Malibu was included in Monday's recall of 7.6 million vehicles.

   -- 2014: Latest model year of a vehicle recalled for a faulty ignition. The 2014 Cadillac CTS was recalled Monday because its key can unintentionally rotate and turn the ignition off.

   -- 54: Number of GM recalls so far this year.

   -- 28.9 million: Number of cars and trucks recalled by GM so far this year in North America.

   -- $2.5 billion: GM's estimate for recall-related costs through the first half of the year.

   -- $7.8 million: The amount compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg says GM would pay to compensate a 10-year-old paraplegic injured in a crash in a small car that was part of the initial recall. Feinberg announced Monday that GM's compensation fund will begin taking claims from victims and their families on Aug. 1.

   -- 57 cents: Cost of each replacement switch for the 2.6 million small cars.

   -- $35 million: Fine levied on GM by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for concealing the ignition switch problems.

   --$3.8 billion: GM's net income last year.

   -- 9.7 million: Number of cars and trucks sold by GM globally last year.

   -- 15: Number of GM employees dismissed for conduct that delayed the small-car recall.

DETROIT (AP) -- Kenneth Feinberg says there is no limit on the total amount he can pay people harmed in crashes caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches.

The nation's top compensation expert also says GM won't have any say in the amounts he can offer people, which could include drivers, passengers and even pedestrians.

GM recalled 2.6 million small cars this year, admitting that it knew for years that the cars' ignition switches can unexpectedly shut off the engine and cause drivers to lose control of their cars. The air bags are also disabled.

GM links 13 deaths to the problem, but trial lawyers and lawmakers say claims of wrongful death and injury could total in the hundreds.

Feinberg announced the terms of the compensation plan Monday in Washington.

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