GM launches compensation program for crash victims


DETROIT — General Motors said today that it will launch a program to compensate crash victims or families affected by faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths that prompted a recall of 2.6 million cars.

The company said it expects the program will start accepting claims Aug. 1 but hasn’t said how much money will be involved. Guidelines and other details will be developed in the coming weeks, GM said.

The fund will be administered by compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg. GM announced in April the hiring of Feinberg, who handled the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund as well as funds for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and the BP oil spill.

The announcement comes the same day a report on the GM’s response to the faulty switches is expected to be released. The investigation was conducted by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas and paid for by General Motors.

CEO Mary Barra said early today that the report finds a pattern of incompetency and neglect, but not a cover-up, at the heart of the Detroit automaker’s long delay in dealing with faulty ignition switches.

Barra said the company would “do the right things for those who were harmed” and “everything in our power to make sure this never happens again.”