- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — The death toll from crashes involving General Motors small cars with faulty ignition switches has risen to at least 21.

Compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg says in an Internet posting he received 143 death claims as of Friday. He has determined that 21 are eligible for compensation so far. Last week 19 death claims were deemed eligible for payments.

Feinberg also has received 532 injury claims. Of those, 16 are eligible for compensation thus far. The rest are still being reviewed.

GM has admitted knowing about the ignition switch problem in small cars like the Chevrolet Cobalt for more than a decade. Yet it didn’t begin recalling the cars until February.

The switches can unexpectedly shut off the engine and cause crashes.

GM hired Feinberg to compensate crash victims.

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