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Automakers Pay $553M To Exit Takata Air Bag MDL

Automakers Pay $553M To Exit Takata Air Bag MDL”

Four automakers agreed to a $553 million settlement to address class-action economic loss claims covering owners of almost 16 million recalled vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

The latest development in the Takata airbag story arrived on Thursday and included four automakers, almost 16 million vehicles and more than $500 million in settlements.

"This is a settlement between us and our customers", said a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for Mazda.

Takata's products, which can malfunction sending shards of metal at drivers and passengers, have been linked to at least 17 deaths worldwide. 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.

There is also a settlement that involves Takata itself, who will compensate automakers with $850 million, and that deal also created a $125 million fund to compensate injured individuals who have not already reached an agreement by January 2017.

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.

Automakers have recalled 46 million Takata air bag inflators in 29 million US vehicles as of Dec 2016. The automakers agreed to provide rental cars to owners most at risk, including those with older vehicles or living in humid areas like the Southeast or Hawaii. The programs offered in these agreements are meant to increase recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflators, among other customer benefits.

Reimbursement of reasonable expenses, including transportation, towing and lost wages or childcare costs, accumulated as a result of the recall. Takata has been searching for more than a year to find a financial sponsor to pay for costs to replace its inflators which are at the center of the auto industry's biggest-ever recall. 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.

More than 14 million of the air bags have been repaired in the USA, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

Other automakers involved in class-action lawsuits over this scandal include Honda, Ford, and Nissan, but theirs have not been settled, Automotive News informs.



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