27 deaths attributed to faulty GM switch so far. Deadline for claims Dec 31

The GM faulty ignition switch is to blame for 27 deaths, so far, according to a report by the office of the lawyer GM is using to run a program to compensate the victims of the switch. The program has received 1,371 claims for deaths an injuries and the final deadline for submission of claims is December 1 of this year.

GM has received criticism for waiting 11 years to begin recalling millions of cars with ignition-switch problems that were linked to fatalities.

The switch can slip out of position, stalling the vehicle and disabling air bags, and the defect led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles earlier this year.

GM has given Ken Feinberg independence to determine eligibility criteria under the program and to approve or reject claims. The amount of compensation has not been capped, but GM has set aside at least $400 million to cover the costs.

Under the program eligible death claims can expect a payout of at least $1 million or more, depending on whether the deceased had any dependents or any other “extraordinary circumstances” applied.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers