Feinberg confirms 33 death claims OK’ed in GM ignition fund

Feinberg confirms 33 death claims OK'ed in GM ignition fund

By Matthew J. Belvedere

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the General Motors faulty ignition-switch compensation fund, told CNBC on Monday that more than 800,000 new notices are being sent this week to drivers who purchased vehicles since the last notice went out.

More than 6 million notices have gone out so far, Feinberg said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “I don’t think there are many people out there, if any, who don’t know about this program.”

So far, 33 death claims and 39 injury claims have been approved, he said. A total of 2,100 claims have been filed—half of which have no accident documentation, Feinberg said a day after announcing a one-month extension of the deadline to file claims to Jan. 31.

“We want to make sure everybody knows about this program,” he continued. “Out of abundance of caution, we’ll extend the filing deadline one more month.”

Last week, The New York Times reported that family members of one of the earliest fatal accident victims had not been notified by GM that they were eligible to receive a minimum of $1 million from the fund.

“Very unfortunately, that family wasn’t notified. That’s one example that I’m aware of. Are there others out there? There may be a few,” he said.

“Of the [original] 13 families that GM recognized, nine have already come into the program. Two are on the verge of coming into the program. And we’ve reached the other two,” he added.

GM has been criticized for waiting 11 years to recall millions of cars with ignition-switch problems that have been linked to multiple fatal crashes. The switch can slip out of position and cut power to air bags and brakes and has prompted the recall of 2.6 million vehicles.