The independent administrator of the General Motors (GM) compensation fund has found more deaths and injuries caused by the faulty ignition switches than GM originally found on its own.
The new count includes at least six more deaths and four more injuries that GM has not acknowledged. And the independent administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, says that the number is likely to rise.
As Feinberg told the PBS NewsHour, the main reason is that the independent compensation program uses a less strict standard to evaluate claims. For example, the program includes the claims of injured or killed parties other than the driver, such as passengers or pedestrians. Also, the program does not deny claims if a secondary factor, such as speeding, contributed to the death or injury.
According to CBS News, these findings have raised major criticism aimed at GM. Some claim that this shows that GM has sought to avoid taking total responsibility for the damage caused by the faulty ignition switch. Other critics assert that the independent compensation program itself will not be able to uncover the true extent of the damage because key makes and models were excluded from consideration by the fund.
The compensation program began accepting applications this summer, and it will continue to accept applications until December 31 of this year.