GM ended up recalling 2.6 million older small cars starting in February to fix the switches, which the company says have caused 54 crashes and at least 13 deaths. GM acknowledged that it waited more than 10 years to recall the cars. A report from an outside attorney hired by GM blamed the delay on a dysfunctional corporate structure and misconduct or poor decisions by some employees. The attorney's report also indicates that the Meltons' case was settled for $5 million.
The case has brought investigations from Congress and the Justice Department. Also, GM has agreed to pay a $35 million fine to the government's road safety agency. The automaker has hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg to come up with a method of compensating victims.
Feinberg said last week that a compensation plan is weeks away. So far, GM has announced or taken charges of $1.7 billion to cover the cost of the ignition switch and dozens of other recalls.