General Motors said Thursday it will launch a compensation program for crash victims as a result of faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths that prompted a recall of 2.6 million cars.
The company said Thursday it expects the program will start accepting claims Aug. 1. It will be administered by compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg.
"I will be spending the next few weeks seeking advice and input from all interested parties as to the terms and conditions of such a program," Feinberg said in a statement. "I have already drafted some preliminary compensation ideas and plan to share them in confidence over the next few weeks with lawyers, public interest groups, GM and others interested in the compensation program."
CEO Mary Barra said the compensation program was voluntary and that people would have to make their own decisions about whether they wanted to sue the company. She did not address repeated questions about whether GM would waive the liability shield that comes from the company's bankruptcy reorganization.