Contact Us
Make My Homepage

At a glance: GM ignition switch compensation plan

General Motors Co. has hired Kenneth Feinberg, the nation’s most well-known compensation expert, to pay people harmed in crashes caused by faulty ignition switches in older-model small cars. GM says it’s trying to do the right thing by making the payments.

The company says at least 54 crashes and 13 deaths were caused by the problem, but lawyers and lawmakers say there will be hundreds of claims. GM is recalling 2.6 million small cars from 2003-2011 due to the problem. Feinberg says there’s no limit to the total amount he can pay, and GM can’t overrule his decisions.

Families of victims of a General Motors safety defects in small cars hold photos of their loved ones as they gather on the lawn on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 1, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.)

Here are details of the compensation plan announced by Feinberg on Monday:

WHO’S ELIGIBLE: Relatives of those killed in crashes. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and people in other cars involved in crashes with the GM vehicles who suffered serious physical injuries or relatives of people killed in crashes.

DEADLINE: People can begin applying for compensation Aug. 1. The deadline for filing a claim is Dec. 31. Feinberg expects most claims to be processed in 90 to 180 days.

COMPENSATION LIMITS: None for deaths or extreme injuries such as permanent brain damage, loss of limbs, paralysis and serious burns. Less serious injuries are limited by formulas similar to what Feinberg used to compensate those injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. People can get quick settlements based on formulas for death and extreme injuries, or they can try to prove to Feinberg that they should get more money by proving extraordinary circumstances. Feinberg says GM has placed no limit on the total he can spend. Lawyers say it will be in the billions.

BURDEN OF PROOF: Those filing claims must show that their crashes were caused by faulty GM small-car ignition switches. The switches can unexpectedly slip from “run” to “accessory,” shutting off the engines and causing loss of power steering and brakes. The air bags also are disabled. Those injured in frontal crashes in which air bags did not deploy are likely to get compensation. Frontal crashes without air bag deployment are not eligible because it’s unlikely the switch caused the crash if the air bags worked.

RIGHT TO SUE: Those who settle with Feinberg give up their right to sue.

AFFECTED MODELS: About 2.6 million small cars worldwide, including the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5; 2003-2007 Saturn Ion; and 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, and any newer models from 2008-2011 that got the switches as replacement parts.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!