General Motors’ compensation fund announced on May 18 that it had approved its 100th death claim related to faulty ignition switches in the company’s recalled cars. Though the number exceeds the corporation’s initial estimate of 13 deaths in this matter, it is still far lower than the number of death and injury claims that have been filed thus far.

A GM spokesman has stated that the number 13 “was based on information available to the company at the time, and it was based on a thorough review by engineers of the facts and circumstances of each crash, including any available technical information recorded by the vehicle’s on-board computer.” However, a lawyer representing some victims in a class action lawsuit against the company has suggested that the number was a kind of “spin.”

While some victims of the auto defect, which the company hid for over a decade, may receive just compensation through this fund, a GM recall lawyer from the Phoenix-based firm of Wattel & York can also offer representation for those harmed by this and other defective and recalled vehicles as part of a personal injury lawsuit against the company. As veteran product liability attorneys in Arizona, our firm has advocated on behalf of residents injured by dangerous and defective products, including recalled vehicle components.


GM issued a recall of 2.6 million affected automobiles in 2014, but it is clear that the company has known about the problem since 2001. The decision not to disclose this information resulted in $35 million fine paid to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to resolve its investigation of the company; more importantly, it is likely that it also meant the death of many, many more victims than would otherwise have occurred.

Initially, the company stated that there were only 13 known fatalities connected with the faulty ignition switches, which shut down if jostled or pulled and deactivate the airbag. After GM finally issued a wide-ranging recall of vehicles with such switches, they later set up a compensation fund for those who suffered death or injury due to the defect, with a deadline of January 31, 2014 to submit a claim. So far, 4,342 claims have been submitted. Of these claims, 2,094 claims (including 244 involving deaths) have been rejected, while 495 are still under review.

Other victims have chosen to pursue compensation through a GM ignition switch death lawsuit. It is important that Arizona victims or their families chose an attorney from a firm like Wattel & York that has the resources to go up against a major corporation such as GM and come out of court with justice for their clients.


At Wattel & York, we are a law firm dedicated to pursuing justice for Arizona victims of accidents caused by flawed or recalled vehicles, including those with faulty ignition switches recalled by GM. While GM has now accepted 100 wrongful death claims for compensation, legal experts believe that this may be only a small number out of the many who lost their lives due to the switches in the past 10 years.

Whereas time is up for victims who want to pursue compensation through GM’s fund, the option to file a lawsuit is still open. It is, however, important that potential plaintiffs consult Wattel & York attorneys as soon as possible because statute of limitations still apply. Please call our offices at 1-877-225-5562 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation case review.


  1. NY Times, G.M.’s Ignition Switch Death Toll Hits 100
  2. Detroit News, GM ignition switch fund OKs compensation for 104 deaths

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