January 28, 2015 / 9:59 PM / in 3 years

GM says it has no plans to extend ignition switch claims deadline

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) on Wednesday said it does not plan to extend a Jan. 31 deadline to file claims in its faulty ignition switch compensation program, rejecting pleas from two U.S. senators to extend the cutoff.

The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files

GM in a statement said it had already extended the deadline once to Jan. 31 and does not plan to make another extension.

As of Jan. 23, the compensation program had received 3,068 claims. The head of the compensation fund has determined that 50 of the claims for deceased people have been found eligible for compensation.

GM has recalled 2.6 million cars due to defective ignition switches that have been the subject of several Congressional hearings and numerous lawsuits.

Two senators, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who have been most vocal in criticism of GM, on Wednesday sent a letter to GM Chief Executive Mary Barra urging her to extend the deadline.

In that letter, the senators said they wanted GM to extend it to allow the U.S. Department of Justice to complete its investigation over possible criminal conduct in GM’s handling of the ignition switch defect.

The rejection is another step in GM’s efforts to put the issue behind it.

In a statement, GM said, “We have conducted extensive outreach about the program and contacted more than 5 million current and former owners of the recalled vehicles.”

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