General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra said today that the death tally may increase in the ignition flaw case. The accidents linked to defective ignition switches could increase when an independent compensation plan is completed.
Barra said that Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer that specializes in victim compensation would ?independently determine? how many people died or were seriously injured in the millions of small cars that had faulty ignition switches. The 13 deaths and 54 accidents is based on “the information we have right now,” said Barra. This figure could increase in the next few weeks.
?We are relying on the expertise of Kenneth Feinberg, who is experienced in designing and administering complex compensation programs,? added Barra. GM did not estimate the cost of compensating accident victims and families. GM did put aside $1.7 billion to pay for the switch recall that covers 2.6 million older cars though.
Barra apologized to the accident victims and their families. She vowed to improve GM’s commitment to safety as CEO.
GM recently fired 15 employees, including three senior corporate lawyers for their role in the problem. Another five employees were disciplined.