DETROIT — General Motors on Sunday said it will extend the deadline for victims of defective ignition switches to apply for compensation by another month on the advice of Kenneth Feinberg, the program's administrator.
The new deadline is January 31, 2015.
"We agree with Ken Feinberg's recommendation to extend the compensation program deadline," GM said in a statement. "Our goal with the program has been to reach every eligible person impacted."
Feinberg said the extension is being implemented "out of an abundance of caution."
The GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility was set up to compensate automobile accident victims killed or physically injured as a result of defective GM ignition switches in certain GM automobiles.
Notices of the compensation program have been sent to 4.5 million people. Another 850,000 supplemental notices are being sent this week.
The recall involves all 2003-'07 Saturn Ion, 2005-'10 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006 -'11 Chevrolet HHR, 2007-'10 Pontiac G5, 2006-'10 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-'10 Saturn Sky vehicles. GM has recalled 2.59 million vehicles for defective ignition switches that can move from the "run" position while driving, turning off the engine and disabling the airbags.
Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, last week sent a letter to Feinberg saying that outreach efforts should be expanded. The program has received 1,851 claims for death and serious injuries as of early November.
Edmunds says: A nice break for affected consumers who felt rushed by the original December 31 deadline.