GM won’t extend deadline for ignition-switch claims despite pressure from US Senators

General Motors began accepting compensation filings for its ignition-switch recall on August 1, 2014. It will stop accepting filings on Saturday. This nearly six-month span was already longer than what compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg originally detailed – the deadline was extended from December 31 to January 31 back in November – but now a pair of Congressional lawmakers are requesting GM issue another extension.

Arguing that the deadline is «arbitrary,» democratic senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey, from Connecticut and Massachusetts, respectively, wrote a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra. In it, the pair claim that two factors have given consumers pause when it comes to filing for compensation.

The first problem, according to Automotive News, is that the Department of Justice is still investigating whether GM broke any laws in its bungling of the ignition switch recall. The second and arguably bigger issue focuses on whether the liability shield granted to the company as part of its 2009 bankruptcy can protect it from lawsuits stemming from ignition-switch defects.

«Right now, injured parties do not know enough about their legal rights or facts to make an informed decision,» the letter, obtained by AN, read. «Indeed, they cannot have sufficient information until the DOJ concludes its criminal investigation and the bankruptcy court decides whether to lift the liability shield that GM now unjustifiably hides behind.»

GM responded succinctly, though, saying it’s already extended the deadline once, and that it does «not plan another extension.»

What are your thoughts? Has GM given owners of its recalled vehicles enough time to file compensation claims, or should the company heed the request of Sens. Blumenthal and Markey? Have your say in Comments.

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