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GM Settlement fund: Not All Victims Included

General Motors has repeatedly acknowledged that the company has moral obligations to uphold in regards to the victims of its ignition switch recall. At the end of June, the automaker announced the details of its GM victim fund that was created by victims’ compensation specialist attorney Ken Feinberg. The GM fund was designed as an alternative to litigation and to provide compensation for the thousands of potential victims of defective switches. However, according to a CNN Money article, not all victims are included under the plans guidelines.

About the GM Settlement Fund

Earlier this year, GM recalled approximately 2.6 million older compact cars, most famously including the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion, which have defective ignition switches. The defect has been linked publicly by GM to 13 deaths and 54 crashes, although safety advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers believe that number is much higher. More troubling was the fact that GM knew about the defect for more than a decade but failed to take action.

The GM ignition recall led to various federal investigations, a $35 million dollar fine, and a massive internal safety review which has led to the recall of about 30 million GM vehicles. More than 11 million of those vehicles were recalled for a problem very similar to the Cobalt recall: a poorly designed key can cause what GM calls “unintended ignition key rotation” that results in the same engine stalls, loss of power brakes/steering, and airbag failure at the heart of the earlier recall.

The GM fund is available for anyone who suffered a serious injury or the families of those killed in accidents where it can be determined the ignition switch was a “proximate” factor in the crash. One of the big sticking points to the plan, however, is that it is only available for crashes that involved vehicles in the February and March ignition recall.

GM Says Switch Not Defective

GM says the June recalls are not included in the fund because, unlike the switches in the Cobalt and Ion, the problem is not with the switch but the way the key itself is designed. In those vehicles, GM has said it will provide owners with a plastic key insert that will change the head of the key fob from a slot to a hole.

Even though GM says the problem is different, the end result is the same: the June recall has been linked to 3 deaths and 13 injuries. For those victims, the only current recourse for compensation will be to sue GM.

Thomas J. Henry Fights for GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

No Limit Set on GM Settlement Fund

In a press conference announcing General Motors ignition-switch settlement fund, GM attorney compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg announced that there will be no limit on what he can pay to ensure that victims are properly compensated.

“There Is No Ceiling”

“GM has basically said whatever it costs to pay any eligible claims under the protocol, they will pay it. There is no ceiling.” – Kenneth Feingberg as published by US News

During the announcement, Feinberg assured that He and he alone will decide how much each victim affected by accidents involving certain recalled General Motors vehicles will be paid – GM will have no say in the payment amounts.

While Feinberg would not comment on the ultimate cost GM may be facing, financial experts claim the fund could result in the automaker paying hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation, if not billions.

Feinberg stated that all those injured in auto accidents involving the recalled vehicles in which airbags did not deploy would be eligible for the settlement fund. This includes drivers, passengers, occupants of other vehicles, and even pedestrians who may have been struck after a recalled vehicle lost control.

When asked whether GM would cover accidents in which drivers were able to power their vehicles back on, resulting in airbag deployment, Feinberg stated that those cases would be looked at on an individual bases.

Filing a Claim with the GM Settlement Fund

  • Victims wishing to file their claim with the compensation fund must submit their information between August 1 and December 31 of 2014.
  • Feinberg stated that claimants can generally expect payment within 90 to 180 days of their filing being completed.
  • Feinberg reminded victims that they are under no obligation to settle with GM and may choose to file their claims through court. This will, however, result in their exclusion from the compensation fund.
  • Victims who have settled or received payment from GM prior to the establishment of the fund may submit an application seeking additional payment.
Thomas J. Henry Represents GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall.

As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

GM Settlement Fund: Track A and Track B Options

General Motors recently announced the details of its GM settlement fund for victims of the ignition switch recall. The fund, created by outside attorney Ken Feinberg, breaks down claims into three major categories: Individual Death claims, Category One personal injury claims, and category two personal injury claims. The following is an overview of how Feinberg proposes to handle claims of death and Category One personal injury.

Track A or Track B

Those who submit claims Individual Death claims or Category One personal injury claims – essentially catastrophic injuries – will be able to select from one of two tracks to resolve the claim: Track A or B. Track A, also called Presumptive Compensation, is designed to resolve settlement for victims quickly and with less information required. Track B, or Complete Economic Analysis, is a longer process but takes into account a wide range of information.

Individual Death Claims: Track A vs. Track B

According to the GM fund guidelines, Track A will compensate claimants based on standard economic loss calculations using a variety of information including:

  • Decedent’s historical earnings
  • Decedent’s employment benefits
  • Decedent’s age
  • Age and state of members of the decedent’s household who are dependents of the decedent

Furthermore, if the decedent was a minor or had little historical earnings, the plan will use the average income of wage earners in the U.S. in 2013.

Compensation for Track A claims will be paid within 90 days after the claim is deemed “substantially complete.”

Track B, on the other hand, considers a broader range of case-specific information about the decedent and any extraordinary circumstances. The GM victim fund guidelines note that Track B claims “will require the submission of substantially more information than Track A.” It’s estimated that Track B compensation will be paid out 180 days after the claim is substantially complete.

For both Track A and Track B claims, the GM fund will also pay an additional:

  • $1,000,000 for the death of the decedent, AND
  • $300,000 for the surviving spouse, AND
  • $300,000 for each surviving dependent of the decedent
Category One: Track A vs. Track B

For Category One, or catastrophic injuries, the difference between Track A and Track B are similar to Individual Death claims. Track A will use the same standard calculations as those used in death claims based on national data.

GM fund guidelines state that Track B claims will also require the formulation of a life-care plan and consider non-economic losses as well. Again, Track B claims will take into account a wider array of factors to determine what Feinberg determines is proper compensation.

Thomas J. Henry Represents GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

GM Compensation Fund Eligibility

General Motors’ ignition switch compensation fund is an open-ended plan meant to provide victims and families affected by the automaker defective ignition switches with a means to resolve their clams in a manner that is faster than pursuing the claims in court.

However, General Motors has released a set of eligibility guidelines outlining who is eligible for compensation through their settlement fund.

Who is Eligible of the GM Settlement Fund?

In order for your claim to be considered, GM has set eligibility requirements which include:

  • Drivers, passengers, pedestrians who were injured after a recalled vehicle lost control, and occupants of other vehicles involved in an accident with a recalled GM vehicle are eligible for compensation.
  • Those who wish to be included in GM’s settlement fund can file their claim between August 31, 2014 and December 31, 2014.
  • Supporting evidence will be required and may include accident or insurance reports, medical records, black box data, photographs or video footage, and maintenance reports showing stalling occurred prior to an accident.
  • Those who have received previous out-of-court settlements from GM may apply for addition compensation.
  • The fund will not be open to clients seeking compensation for economic-loss or property damage calms.

What Vehicles are Covered by the Fund

According to GM, vehicles currently covered by the settlement fund include:

Thomas J. Henry Represents GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall.

As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

GM Recalls Pontiac Grand Prix due to Ignition Defects

On Monday, General Motors announced a massive recall spanning nine different vehicle models with ignition switch problems. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 8 million vehicles worldwide are affected by the recall, including certain Pontiac Grand Prix.

About the Pontiac Grand Prix Recall

GM has said the recall affects about 6.8 million U.S. vehicles, including the 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix. The vehicles are being recalled due to what is described by the automaker as “unintended ignition key rotation.” Extra weight on the GM key, rough terrain, and drivers’ knees can cause the ignition switch to slip out of the “run” position, resulting in engine stalls and airbag failure.GM has said it is aware of three fatalities, eight injuries, and seven crashes connected to the defect.

Monday’s recall is similar to the GM ignition recall announced earlier this year that affected about 2.6 million older compact cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion. That recall placed the automaker under intense scrutiny and legal action after it was learned that GM employees were aware of problems with the ignition switches for more than a decade but failed to act. In June, GM recalled more than 500,000 Chevrolet Camaros and more than 3 million mid- to large-size cars to correct the same problem behind Monday’s recall.

Description of the Recalled Vehicles

Monday’s recall affects the following makes and models:

  • 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
  • 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

A separate recall for the same problem affects the following makes and models:

  • 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS
  • 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
Thomas J. Henry Represents GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

Chevrolet Impala Recalled for Ignition Switch Issues

General Motors announced on Monday that the automaker was recalling more than 8 million vehicles globally across multiple models for ignition switch problems. The Detroit News says two fatal crashes occurred in Chevy Impalas that could be connected to the ignition problem.

About the Chevrolet Impala Recall

Altogether, about 8 million vehicles were recalled by GM on Monday to correct what is described as “unintended ignition key rotation.” The problem is similar to the ignition switch defect in the Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt that was announced earlier this year. Owners of the vehicles are being urged to remove all unnecessary items from the GM key until repairs can be made.

GM spokesman Jim Cain said the company is aware of three deaths and eight injuries linked to the new round of recalls. Two fatal crashes occurred in 2003 and 2004 Chevrolet Impalas where airbags failed to deploy.

Monday’s recall brings the total number of vehicles recalled by GM to more than 30 million worldwide in 54 separate recalls. The automaker became the subject of intense scrutiny after it was learned that GM engineers knew about problems with the Cobalt and Ion for more than a decade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined GM $35 million for the delay.

Description of the Recalled Vehicles

Monday’s recall affects the following makes and models:

  • 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
  • 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

A separate recall for the same problem affects the following makes and models:

  • 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS
  • 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
Thomas J. Henry Represents GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

Chevrolet Malibu Included in Massive GM Recall

General Motors has announced a recall affecting more than 8 million vehicles worldwide with ignition key problems, including the 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu. According to the Wall Street Journal, trading of GM shares was halted briefly after the announcement. The automaker has said it will take a $1.2 billion charge against its second-quarter earnings to cover the recall.

About the Chevrolet Malibu Recall

The defect in the 6.8 million U.S. vehicles is being described by GM as “unintended key rotation.” Similar to ignition switch problems that plagued Chevy Cobalts and Saturn Ions, the latest vehicles can experience engine stalls caused by ignition switch defects. GM has said it is aware of eight injuries, seven crashes, and three fatalities linked to the latest recall.

GM has recalled more than 30 million vehicles this year. In February, GM initiated a recall that would be twice expanded to eventually include 2.6 million vehicles. The automaker came under scrutiny after it was learned GM engineers were aware of the defective switches for more than a decade but failed to take action. The company was fined $35 million – the maximum penalty allowed – by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the delay.

Description of the Recalled Vehicles

Monday’s recall affects the following makes and models:

  • 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
  • 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

A separate recall for the same problem affects the following makes and models:

  • 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS
  • 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
Thomas J. Henry Represents GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

Lawsuit Led to GM Chevy Cruze Recall

Earlier this week, General Motors issued a recall for about 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans with defective Takata airbags. CNBC is reporting that the recall was triggered by a lawsuit filed after an airbag injured a woman, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

About the Chevy Cruze Lawsuit

Although GM did not specify the lawsuit, CNBC says the lawsuit was filed by Brandi Owens in late April against both GM and Takata. Owens was left blind in one eye after an accident involving the defective airbags. Filings from the lawsuit claim that the airbags in her 2013 Chevy Cruze deployed “with such force that it detached from the steering wheel and struck (her) in the face, causing her left eye to rupture.”

GM told NHTSA that it first learned of the lawsuit on May 1. The automaker then inspected the vehicle four days later and met with NHTSA officials three times between late May and June before finally announcing the recall.

10.5 Million Vehicles with Takata Airbags

The news is part of the greater scandal surrounding airbags made by Takata. More than 10.5 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled in connection to Takata airbags that could have defective inflators that can send metal fragments flying into vehicles or improperly deploy. Seven automakers announced it would recall more than 1 million vehicles due to concerns about the airbags.

NHTSA opened an investigation after six reports of airbags deploying improperly in humid climates, including Florida and Puerto Rico.

GM has said that while similar, the problem with the Chevrolet Cruze airbags is not directly related to the exploding Takata airbags.

GM Preparing to Recall Chevy Cruze due to Airbag Defect

General Motors has announced that it will shortly issue a recall for about 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans due to an airbag defect, according to Reuters.

About the Chevrolet Cruze Airbag Recall

GM said on Wednesday it expects to file a recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) due to a potential for driver-side airbag failure. The recall will affect about 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles with model years 2013-2014. GM has also said it has issued a stop-sale notice to its dealers for the vehicles, although statement released later on Wednesday acknowledged “many” of the vehicles had already been sold.

More Takata Airbag Problems

The airbags, according to GM, may have been installed with the incorrect part, resulting in the potential for the airbags to fail. The airbags were manufactured by Takata, but GM says the problem is unrelated to the defective inflators that recently triggered a 10.5 million vehicle global recall which spans multiple automakers.

A statement from GM spokesman Jim Cain on Wednesday said the automaker is “moving quickly to identify the vehicles involved, and other facts including whether there are any accidents or injuries.”

Earlier this year, GM recall about 21,000 2012 Chevy Cruze due to an electrical problem that could cause airbag failure. The airbags in those vehicles were also manufactured by Takata.

44 Separate GM Recalls

In the wake of the massive 2.6 million vehicle ignition recall announced in February and March, this year alone GM has recalled more than 20 million vehicles globally with 44 separate recalls. The automaker came under fire after it was learned the company was aware of ignition defects with the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion for more than a decade but failed to take action until this year. The ignition defect has been linked to 13 deaths and 54 crashes, although the true death count is believed by many to be much higher.

Thomas J. Henry Fights for GM Victims’ Compensation

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.

Ford and NHTSA Investigating Reports of Exhaust in SUVs

A recently filed lawsuit alleges carbon monoxide has been leaking into one woman’s Ford Explorer SUV. The lawsuit, along with 20 other complaints of a similar issue, have triggered an investigation by Ford and safety regulators, according to the Wall Street Journal.

About the Ford Explorer Exhaust Leak Lawsuit

Last week Angela Sanchez-Knutson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging a test of her 2013 Ford Explorer indicated more than 100 parts per million of carbon monoxide could build up in the cabin of her vehicle. The problem occurs when the auxiliary rear air-conditioning is on and the engine is working at high RPMs. The Consumer Safety Product Commission notes that levels about 70 parts per million are potentially dangerous.

Ford issued a technical service bulletin in December 2012 for ways that dealers could remedy exhaust smells in vehicles. The bulletin provided three suggestions but at no time classified the issue as one of safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said it is aware of 20 reports from consumers involving 2011-2014 Ford Explorers. The agency said it is “reviewing all available data and will take appropriate action as warranted.”

The lawsuit filed by Sanchez-Knutson seeks class action status and asks courts to force Ford to recall the vehicles.

Ford released a statement in regards to the lawsuit that read: “We’re currently reviewing the case and in the event that any action is required, we will address it promptly.”

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