General Motors will extend the deadline for submission of application in a program designed to compensate victims of defective ignition switches. Following recommendation of attorney Ken Feinberg, GM has decided to move the deadline from Dec. 31, 2014, to January 31, 2015. In a statement, Feinberg disclosed that notices have already been sent to 4.5 million people, and another 850,000 "supplemental notices" are being sent this week.
He remarked that the deadline was extended "out of an abundance of caution." He added that “the many efforts” to reach all possible GM vehicle owners, former owners and others affected by a faulty ignition switch have been both “comprehensive and effective."
Feinberg noted that there will always be a few people who do not receive the notice and are not aware of the compensation. In a statement, GM said its goal with the program has been to reach every eligible person impacted by the defect.
Automotive News cited the case of Jamie Frei, whose Chevrolet Cobalt was involved in an incident in December 2006. The airbag failed and Frei had to spend 29 days in a coma before waking up.
While his name was on pages 130 and 131 of the report detailing GM's internal probe into faulty ignition switches on its cars and his injuries were classified as "moderate" on another page, Frei said that there was compensation fund for victims of the ignition switches until he was contacted last week by an Automotive News reporter." Frei agreed to a settlement with GM in 2008 and hasn’t heard from the carmaker since then.