As of Monday, a General Motors (GM) claims administrator approved 77 death and 141 injury claims related to faulty ignition switches.
GM set up the compensation fund last year following the aftermath of findings that defective ignition switches could inadvertently switch out of position, shutting down the engine and all the car's safety features, including the airbags.
About 2.6 million cars were subsequently recalled and GM was fined by the federal government $35 million for not reporting the ignition switch problems immediately after they were discovered in 2001. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed data related to the accidents in 2007 and 2010, but determined it lacked enough information to open a formal investigation.
GM estimates paying out between $400 million and $600 million in compensation.
Victims had until January to submit a claim, but supporting documentation is still being accepted. Submitting a claim is voluntary, but in doing so, victims give up their right to sue to GM.
About 4,340 claims were received and about 1,260 remain under review.