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GM Announces Plan To Compensate Families Affected By Faulty Ignition Switches

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Company in crisis. General Motors issues another massive recall affecting millions of drivers. It all happens on the same day GM announces plans to pay out tens of millions of dollars to families of victims who died as a result of faulty ignition switches.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how the company plans to compensate the victims.

GM has positively linked 13 deaths to the faulty ignition switches that it failed to disclose for more than a decade. The company is expecting thousands of claims.

Tens of millions of dollars are on the table for those killed or injured in a crash linked to GM’s faulty ignition switches.

“Whatever it costs to pay all eligible claims under the protocol, they will pay it,” said Kenneth Feinberg, GM claims administrator.

The company plans to compensate victims who can prove the defect prevented airbags from deploying. The payouts will be based on age, employment and the size of one’s family.

“A 25-year-old, married, two children, earning $46,000 a year…$4 million,” Feinberg said.

Laura Christian lost her daughter, 16-year-old Amber Marie Rose, when the teen’s Chevy Cobalt crashed in Charles County in 2004. The airbags never went off.

“It’s quite frankly really difficult to hear Amber being reduced to a dollar amount. It was a whole lot harder to do this than I really anticipated,” said Christian.

News of the compensation plan comes as GM issues another massive recall for 8.2 million cars–all with reported ignition switch issues.

Three deaths have been linked to cars in this latest recall, which includes models of the Chevy Malibu, Oldsmobile Intrigue, Oldsmobile Alero, Pontiac Grand Am, Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, the Pontiac Grand Prix and the Cadillac CTS.

GM has already recalled 29 million cars just this year. That’s more recalls than all automakers combined last year.

Victims’ families may begin applying for the compensation plan starting Aug. 1.

The Justice Department is continuing an investigation into GM, which could potentially lead to criminal charges.

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