Kenneth Feinberg and General Motors have announced the long-awaited compensation plan for victims of the Detroit-based manufacturer's botched ignition switch recall.

The compensation plan will be open to family members of anyone that was killed or injured due to ignition switch failure. That includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists that were killed or seriously injured in the incidents. While GM acknowledges 13 deaths and 54 crashes, the actual number of claims is expected to be much higher.

Plaintiffs can begin filing claims on August 1 with an end date of December 31. According to the Associated Press, Feinberg is expecting claims to be completed in 90 to 180 days.

As for the size of the compensation, there is no limit for deaths or extreme injuries (brain damage, loss of limb, paralysis or severe burns). Lesser injuries will come with smaller compensation, with Feinberg expecting to use the formulae and scale used for the Boston Marathon bombing compensation plan. General Motors, for its part, hasn't placed a limit on how much money Feinberg has at his disposal and the company is unable to overrule any of his decisions.

This won't be a free-for-all, though. The burden of proof is on the claimants, who must show that their crash was due to the faulty ignition switch. That even includes drivers that were drunk or speeding, who will not be prevented from filing for compensation.

Finally, those that choose to settle with Feinberg surrender their right to sue GM at a later date.

General Motors' CEO Mary Barra issued the following statement after the unveiling of Feinberg's plan:

"We are pleased that Mr. Feinberg has completed the next step with our ignition switch compensation program to help victims and their families. We are taking responsibility for what has happened by treating them with compassion, decency and fairness. To that end, we are looking forward to Mr. Feinberg handling claims in a fair and expeditious manner."

We've reached out to General Motors for an any additional information and will update this story as it becomes available.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story indicated that the filing status of drivers that were drunk or weren't wearing a seat belt was uncertain. It has since been revealed that these drivers will not be prevented from filing for compensation, provided they're able to provide evidence of ignition failure. The story has been edited to reflect this.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sorry but GM shouldn't be paying a penny to anyone. Car companies have been saying for years not to put a lot of weight on car keys yet people still do it.
        • 1 Year Ago
        don't you suppose the company that made the switches may be footing most of the bill?
        • 1 Year Ago
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Larry ... You should still be able to steer and stop the vehicle. Many accidents would still be avoidable in those scenarios.
          Larry Litmanen
          • 1 Year Ago
          Let me ask you, say you are driving and ignition turns off and you crash the car but airbag is deployed. Who is responsible for the damage?
        • 1 Year Ago
        I've been driving cars since 1962, and always with a lot of keys on the key ring. Never had a problem. This is GM's fault. Period.
      Larry Litmanen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Brandon Turkus you are a failure at life and a LIAR. You omitted the MOST important part of this announcement. If your ignition failed and your airbag deployed (even if you are brain damaged after the crash) you do not qualify. Here's article from WSJ. The program has no overall limit, but a key condition is that the claimants show the vehicle's air bags didn't deploy in the crash, he said. "If an air bag deployed, you're out," Mr. Feinberg said. How did you "forget" to bring this up?
        Spicy Turtle Burger
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Larry Litmanen
        Quoted from the article: "The burden of proof is on the claimants, who must show that their crash was due to the faulty ignition switch." If the airbags deployed, it's unlikely that the ignition switch is at fault, according to the AP story that was used as a source. Reading comprehension, try it some time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      So Feinburg is say that driving a GM is similar to being in the Boston Marathon bombing? I guess that is a reasonable comparison based on all the quality issues at GM.
      • 1 Year Ago
      8 millions more GM vehicles has just been recalled.
      • 1 Year Ago
      He looks like Mr. Burns.
      Gene Markel
      • 1 Year Ago
      With Ignition Switches and Air Bags the customer is always right. As to the ignition switch, ease of operation of switches and knobs is a concern of consumer focus groups conducted by the manufacturer. If focus group members complain that the ignition switch requires too much effort to move from position to position and should be positioned for easy insert and removal. The feedback goes to the supplier and is asked if there is anything that can be done to reduce the effort. The result is a switch with low detent retention. When enough weight attached to the key it will tend to be moved from the ON position. The supplier is unaware of this condition. The supplier resolved the focus group problem and the customer will be satisfied with the switch’s performance. A test driver may discover the situation but who hangs a bunch of stuff on an ignition key? You would think if an owner with multiple sets of keys and who knows what attached to the ignition key would figure the root cause of the key position change and do something to correct the problem. Alas this is not the owners problem it is a defect. The owner should be able to do what ever they want without consequences. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to anticipate and prevent anything that can happen.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's all calm down, sit back and get to the root of this issue. I am sure it's not what media portrays and I personally do heavily believe that many car drivers are at fault. If I read the warning labels on american products, that's the logical conclusion I must come to.
        • 11 Months Ago


               Nice try  "thecommentator2013" you can tell your bosses at GM your attempt at miss information did not work. In other words that dog aint gone hunt

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