GM sets no cap on recall victim compensation fund

The Detroit News
Monday, June 30, 2014

General Motors Co.’s victim compensation fund — which could face hundreds or even thousands of claims from anyone harmed in a crash in which air bags failed to deploy 2.6 million now-recalled Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars — will face significant challenges before it starts accepting claims.

The fund, announced Monday, faces significant questions from a member of Congress, lawyers and safety advocates over how difficult it will be to prove that crashes from a decade ago are linked to defective ignition switches. Some want the fund to accept claims beyond the Dec. 31 deadline. Others believe it should be used to punish GM — or expanded to cover ignition switch problems in other recalled GM cars.


Joanne Doroshow, who directs the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School, said the plan falls short: “The proof and documentation required to prove a claim is onerous at best, but will be impossible for most and this is entirely GM’s fault. It is GM’s fault that significant time has passed while GM covered up this catastrophe, as documentation and evidence disappeared, and as GM misled victims into believing there was no reason to keep it if they even had it at all.


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