Idaho mother disappointed in GM compensation plan

BOISE -- General Motors announced Monday a compensation plan for victims of a recalled faulty ignition switch.

They say there's no limit as to how much they'll pay to the families of those injured or killed as a result of the issue.

But the families have to prove that the accident was caused by the ignition switch, and that the airbag was not deployed.

An Idaho woman traveled to Washington, D.C., for the press conference and met GM's claims administrator.

Rosie Cortinas says her son lost his life because of the defect, but she learned she will not be compensated. That's because an airbag deployed in the Chevy Cobalt her son was driving.

She still believes it was a faulty ignition that caused the fatal crash, and says she'll keep pushing, hoping GM will be punished for the issue.

I want to be his voice, he's gone, he's gone, his story was ended before he had a chance to finish it, to even start his life, said Cortinas.

Her son, Amador Cortinas, was 23 when he died in an accident just a few miles from home. His passenger also died.

People have died and are dying and it's just not right, Cortinas said. My whole mission here is to save other lives.

Cortinas says GM knew about the issue for years before recalling millions of cars. The company's claims administrator, Ken Feinberg, announced they would be offering compensation for those injured and the families of those killed: As much as a million dollars for each life lost, and $300,000 for dependents.

Cortinas says money won't brng her son back.

Money is a pretty poor substitute for loss, she said. You could give people 20, 30, 50 million. It's a pretty poor substitute.

In order to be eligible for compesation, the faulty ignition must be the cause for the crash, and the airbag must not have deployed. GM says the malfunction causes the car to suddenly slip from run to accessory mode, which means the power is cut off to the engine and the airbag, so it cannot deploy.

It's really hard, very emotional, but even worse because they are ruling out the airbag deployment, said Cortinas.

Cortinas says she met with Feinberg to discuss her son's case, and says they will follow up. More than money, she wants GM to face legal action for what happened, and she wants to make sure no more lives are lost.

My son was real, we are a real family and he was a real person in life, along with everyone else who has passed away we just want to stand tall for all of them, said Cortinas.

GM announced another massive recall Monday because of safety defects.

It affects 8.4 million vehicles made over the last 17 years, and includes several different problems connected to seven crashes and three deaths.


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