The number of deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch in General Motors Co vehicles rose by two last week to 21, according to a report Monday from a lawyer overseeing a program to compensate victims of accidents caused by the recalled part. Since Aug. 1, 675 claims for serious injuries or deaths said to have been caused by the switch had been received by the program, which is being overseen by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg. As of Friday, 21 death claims had been deemed eligible, as well as 16 claims for serious physical injuries, according to statistics provided by Feinberg’s office.
The program will continue to receive applications until Dec. 31 on behalf of individuals injured or killed in accidents they say were caused by the switch, which led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles earlier this year. Last week, in the first update since the program began accepting claims, Feinberg’s office reported approving 19 death claims, more than the 13 deaths the company has officially acknowledged as being linked to the switch. As of Friday, a total of 143 death claims had been submitted to the program.