20 May, 2017
The settlement addressed claims from the owners of nearly 16 million recalled vehicles, and will resolve economic losses of vehicle owners and lessees, including reimbursing them the cost of replacement vehicles while waiting for the airbags to be fixed, the Telegraph reports.
Takata inflators, which may explode with extreme force and release metal shrapnel inside vehicles, are blamed for at least 16 deaths and over 180 injuries worldwide. By 2019, automakers expect to recall 64-69 million USA inflators in 42 million vehicles.
Subaru Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and BMW will reimburse out-of-pocket expenses, provide loaners to some vehicle owners and set up an outreach program to increase participation in recalls, according to court papers filed Thursday.
Millions of auto owners whose vehicles were outfitted with faulty Takata airbags may soon receive up to $500.00 under terms of a new consumer settlement.
Just over 30 percent of Toyota and Subaru vehicles have been fixed, and that number is under 20 percent for Mazda and BMW, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company's seeking a buyer in the aftermath of what was the biggest auto recall in history.
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These agreements cover the four automakers' vehicles already recalled or subject to any future recall for Takata PSAN inflators used in driver or front passenger airbag modules, * as described in NHTSA's 2015 Consent Orders and any amendments. The automakers have jointly agreed to provide a total of approximately $553 million for these activities.
"Many consumers are unaware of the dangers their vehicles pose", Peter Prieto, a partner at the law firm Podhurst Orseck who served as the lead counsel in the class-action case, said in a conference call with reporters.
Toyota would pay the most under the settlement, at $278.5 million. Under the terms of the settlements, BMW of North America LLC will pay $131 million, Subaru of America Inc. will pay $68,262,257 and Mazda North American Operations agreed to pay $75,805,050.
News of the proposed settlement comes months after Takata agreed to pay $1 billion over air bag fraud; three of the company's executives were also criminally charged. Honda at the time said the allegations made false assertions that it and other auto makers behaved irresponsibly despite Takata admitting to deceiving the Japanese auto maker and other vehicle companies.