GM Ignition Feinberg Compensation Plan – 2 Key Numbers Missed

GM Ignition Feinberg Compensation Plan – 2 Key Numbers Missed

June, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Yesterday the Feinberg GM Ignition Recall Plan was announced.   See C Span video of the conference at

See documents handed out at

What the documents and the Press Conference by Mr. Feinberg showed is that both time and information are not on the side of crash victims.  There are numerous hurdles and hoops that crash victims will have to race through — just to have a chance to obtain some degree of compensation in return for a promissory note releasing GM from future legal liability.

Two Key Missing Numbers

First, the Feinberg team, in devising their compensation plan,  did not consider the DOT guidance on the higher value of a statistical life of $9.1 million.  Although Mr. Feinberg did ask for that information to be submitted for their consideration.  So yesterday I submitted the attached DOT Policy Guidance document.

Second, Mr. Feinberg was asked by Detroit reporter David Shepardson about the GM figure of 3,500 potential crash victims who experienced non-deployment air bag crashes.  No source of information on that number was provided publicly.  

Perhaps coincidentally, I wrote last month that using GM data, published by NHTSA in 2007, one might estimate as follows:

“Extrapolating 10 years of data from the 2005 GM data, there may have been nearly 3,500 frontal air bag non-deployment crashes that met the GM crash severity threshold for deployment.”


This is an important number because with the millions of GM vehicles that will be on the roads with this defect unfixed for many more months to come we are all in danger.   Both occupants of GM vehicles and all others are endangered because when the ignition switch turns to accessory or off positions the driver loses power, power steering, power brakes and control of the vehicle — and airbag protection.
The 3,500 number over ten years equals about one such airbag non-deployment crash per day in the U.S.A.  
I believe it is fair to say that neither NHTSA nor GM are handling this with the urgency required for protecting the American people.  Both Senator Blumenthal and Markey are right to call for a “Park It Now” safety advisory that NHTSA and GM have failed to issue so far.


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