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GM receives 65 compensation claims for ignition-switch deaths

Death claims match analyst estimates, far exceeding GM\'s count of 13.

General Motors' victims fund has reportedly received claims blaming defective ignition switches for at least 65 deaths.

Applications for deceased claimants represent nearly half of the 135 applications that the company has received so far, with the others related to physical injuries, a spokesperson for fund manager Kenneth Feinberg told CBS.

Not all of the claims may be eligible for compensation, however the number of deaths cited in the applications is consistent with analyst estimates based on accident statistics. Researchers months ago suggested the real number of fatal accidents could be at least five times higher than GM's estimate, which still stands at just 13.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not publicly established its own count of associated deaths, though the agency told CBS the number is likely more than 13.

GM expects the victims fund to pay out at least $400 million, perhaps building to $600 million or more. A portion of the potentially eligible claimants are currently focusing on damage compensation via formal lawsuits, rather than submitting early applications directly do the fund. The administrator is accepting claims through the end of the year.

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