GM to offer at least $1 million for each ignition switch death

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NEW YORK — General Motors offered at least $1 million Monday to the families of those who died as a result of a defect in GM cars.

The automaker will give another $300,000 for each surviving spouse and dependent, in addition to a sum of money that will be determined by the victims’ earning potential.

At least 13 people died, and many more were injured as result of a faulty ignition switch installed in 2.6 million GM cars.

The automaker is also offering money to drivers, passengers and pedestrians injured in crashes that were caused by the defect in those cars. The amount they’ll be compensated will depend on the severity of their injuries.

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who devised compensation plans for victims after 9/11 and the BP oil spill, issued the details at a press conference Monday, about four months after GM recalled the affected vehicles. He was hired by GM in April as a consultant.

GM employees first knew that the ignition switches were malfunctioning back in 2004. But the automaker didn’t issue a recall until a decade later. Some deaths and injuries could have been avoided had the recall been issued sooner.

Anyone who lost a loved one or was seriously injured in a crash related to the recall can file a claim with GM between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014.

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