General Motors has recalled 8.2 million more vehicles, adding to its long list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches.
According to an Associated Press news report, this week’s recall brings GM’s total number of vehicles recalled just in 2014 to 28 million. The latest recalls involve older midsize cars.
So far, GM says it is aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving the vehicles that were recalled on Monday.
The most recent recall covers seven vehicles including the Chevy Malibu from 1997 to 2005 and the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008. The recalls also cover a newer model, the 2003 to 2014 Cadillac CTS.
GM said the recalls are for unintended ignition key rotation. GM is urging vehicle owners to remove everything from their key rings until the recalled vehicles can be recalled.
In addition, the automaker recalled 200,000 vehicles to fix an electrical short in the driver’s side door that could disable the power locks and windows and even cause overheating.
Details About Victims’ Fund
This recent announcement takes the number of fatalities relating to GM ignition defects to 16.
The attorney in charge of the victims’ fund also announced this week that the compensation fund for victims and their families will be open to broad range of people, with family members of those who died as a result eligible for at least $1 million.
Kenneth Feinberg, attorney for GM who is administering the victims fund, has said that GM will award an additional $300,000 for a spouse and each dependent left behind by a victim who died as a result of the faulty ignition.
According to reports, “extenuating circumstances” could drive compensation figures higher. Those who have suffered catastrophic injuries as well as more minor injuries as a result of the switch malfunctioning are also eligible for payment.
Options for Victims and Families
GM is under criminal investigation and has been accused of ignoring signs of the deadly defective switch for more than a decade.
The faulty switches can be jarred out of the “run” position causing the power steering, brakes and airbags to become deactivated. So far, GM has acknowledged 54 crashes and 13 fatalities in connection with the faults.
Victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries or have lost loved ones may choose to decline GM’s offer and sue the company. In such cases punitive damages could also be awarded.
Anyone who has suffered a loss as a result of the GM ignition defects would be well advised to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to explore all their options.