DETROIT (AP) – At least 36 people have died and 44 have been seriously injured in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches.

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the totals Monday.
Feinberg says he has received 229 death claims and 1,986 injury claims since August.

READ MORE: Two Teens Charged In Connection With A Traffic Fatality

The fund has made compensation offers to 57 of the 80 eligible claimants so far. Thirty-five have accepted; 20 have been paid.

READ MORE: Toyota Is Offering To Buy Back An Electric SUV Because Its Wheels Could Fall Off

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 Jan. 31.

MORE NEWS: The House Passes Democrats' Health Care And Climate Bill, Clearing Measure For Biden's Signature

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.