Death Toll From GM Ignition Switches Rises To 51

DETROIT — At least 51 families will get payments from General Motors due to fatal crashes caused by faulty small-car ignition switches, and that number is almost certain to rise.

The deadline to file claims with compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg was Saturday. Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the compensation plan, says 77 injured people also will get payments.

Biros says those numbers will rise as more claims are decided. The plan received a flurry of claims in the week before the deadline, taking the total to 4,180. She would not estimate how many claims would be granted.

GM was aware of faulty ignition switches on 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade, but it didn’t recall them until early last year.