GM death count continues to rise

DETROIT - The number of deaths linked to defective ignition switches in General Motors vehicles continues to grow.

At least 29 people have died and 27 people have been seriously injured in crashes involving GM cars with the faulty switches, said attorney Kenneth Feinberg in updating the totals on Monday. The automaker hired Feinberg to oversee compensation for victims.

Feinberg says he has received 184 death claims since August. Of those, 29 have been deemed eligible for compensation, up two from last week.

Twenty-seven of the 1,333 injury claimants have also received compensation offers. GM knew about faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade but didn't recall them until February.

The switches can slip out of the "on" position, which causes the cars to stall, knocks out power steering and turns off the air bags. Feinberg will accept claims until Dec. 31.

GM has recalled more than 29 million vehicles worldwide, including nearly 26 million in the U.S., this year because of a range of problems.