DETROIT - The death toll from faulty ignition switches in General Motors small cars has risen by two to 121.
Victims' families are being offered compensation of at least $1 million each by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM last year. In addition, Feinberg will make offers to 229 people who were injured in crashes caused by the switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other older cars.
GM recalled 2.6 million of the cars last year, but acknowledged it knew about the switch problems for more than a decade. In addition to the 121 deaths, 14 people were seriously injured and another 237 suffered less serious injuries due to the faulty ignition switches.
Feinberg's compensation fund received 4,342 claims by the Jan. 31 deadline. About 3 percent remain under review. About 90 percent were deemed deficient or ineligible.
So far, Feinberg has made 245 compensation offers; 179 have been accepted and six rejected, Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the compensation fund, said in an email. Sixty offers are still being considered, she said.
GM paid $200 million to settle claims filed with Feinberg as of March 31.
Through last year, GM estimated that 13 people had died because of the switches, but the company said that number would rise. Lawmakers estimated the total would be more than 100.
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