Technology

Automakers settle deadly Takata airbag case for US$553m

Automakers settle deadly Takata airbag case for US$553m”

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW reached a proposed settlement that would compensate owners of 15.8 million vehicles for economic losses stemming from the massive recall of Takata air bags. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will pay $131 million, covering 2.3 million vehicles, plaintiffs' attorneys said.

Outreach Program: The Settlement Special Administrator will oversee and administer outreach programs with the goal of significantly increasing Takata recall remedy completion rates among customers of the four automakers through traditional and non-traditional means. The company agreed to pay $1 billion in penalties, including funds for people injured as a result of the air bags, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths globally. The issue is critical because the huge recall covers more than a dozen automakers, and NHTSA expects that it will affect 64 to 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles by 2020.

BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota have agreed to a settlement to fund consumer outreach, rental vehicle and out-of-pocket cost reimbursement programs for owners of affected cars, according to a joint statement.

The settlement also calls for the automakers to pay out-of-pocket costs to affected owners.

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BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota (the automakers) today announced agreements to resolve economic loss claims in the Takata multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the United States.

Of the $553 million, automakers will use about $50 million to provide rental cars.

The settlement includes a new independent outreach programme to dramatically increase recall remedy completion rates and regularly contact owners. The airbag manufacture has also acknowledged that it used false reports and other misrepresentations to convince automakers to buy air bag systems that contained faulty, inferior or otherwise defective inflators. Owners getting a recall can be reimbursed for lost wages, transportation and child care costs.

The recall has sent Takata to the brink of bankruptcy.

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Toyota's portion of the settlement is the highest, at $278.5 million.

Owners of almost 16-million vehicles made by Toyota, Subaru, BMW and Mazda are eligible for compensation.

In January, Takata agreed to plead guilty to US charges of criminal wrongdoing and to pay $1 billion to resolve a federal investigation into its inflators.

Lawsuits against Honda Motor Co (7267.T), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) have not been settled, lawyers said.

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