The fund reviewing compensation claims linked to a deadly ignition-switch defect in some General Motors cars has approved 51 payments for deaths and eight for catastrophic injuries – numbers that are sure to rise as hundreds of remaining claims are vetted, the fund’s deputy administrator said Monday.

The deadline to make a claim was Sunday night, prompting a rush of late submissions. The fund, which began accepting claims in August, has received 4,180. More than 1,600 came in January from people seeking compensation in connection with GM’s long-delayed recall of 2.6 million older-model Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small cars with a potentially deadly ignition-switch defect.

The late surge of claims included more than 100 from people who say that their loved ones were killed as a result of the flaw. An additional 278 claimants said they suffered catastrophic injuries in accidents caused at least in part by the faulty switch.

The fund, which is paid for by GM but run independently by Washington lawyer Kenneth R. Feinberg, received 3,447 claims for less severe injuries.

In addition to the death and catastrophic-injury determinations that have been made, the fund has settled on compensation for 69 less severe injuries linked to the defect.

The defect caused cars to suddenly cut off if the keys were jostled, causing steering and braking to become more difficult and air bags not to deploy.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., have written to GM demanding that the claims deadline be further extended, but the automaker has refused.

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