GM ignition-switch death toll reaches 97

Numbers Aren't Likely To Rise Much Further

At least 97 motorists have been killed in car accidents caused by defective General Motors ignition switches.

The latest death toll figure was released Monday. That's seven more deaths than reported the previous week by Ken Feinberg, the administrator who runs GM's victim compensation fund.

It once seemed improbable the death toll could rise so far beyond the 13 deaths GM long attributed to the safety flaw. But the toll is unlikely to rise much higher, as administrators are nearing the end of the claims review process. Only 45 death claims remain under review, according to the fund's statistics, and administrators have approved 23.4 percent of death claims thus far.

Overall, 669 claims remain under review, but the bulk are related to physical injuries that required hospitalization. So far, fund administrators have approved 12 claims for severe injuries, such as quadriplegia, double amputation and permanent brain damage. They have approved 167 claims for less-severe injuries that required hospitalization.

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