Honda Motor Co. has agreed to pay $484 million to settle economic-loss claims tied to Takata Corp. air bag recalls..
The settlement includes the requirement to provide for faster replacement of recalled air bags as well as reimburse customers out-of-pocket expenses.
This settlement, which does not cover personal injury claims, will bring the total settlements over the faulty safety devices to more than $1 billion. In May, Honda reached a $533 million settlement with four other automakers –Toyota Motor Corp., Subaru Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. In addition, Nissan Motor Co. agreed to pay $98 million in August.
Earlier in the year, a number of lawsuits were filed claiming that the air bags malfunction, sending shards of metal at drivers and passengers. The suits claimed that the malfunctioned was linked to almost 20 deaths worldwide.
The recall followed reports that the automakers and Takata were not quickly recalling and replacing defective air bags. Consumers also claimed that they had to pay for vehicle rentals and incurred other economic losses while waiting for the air bags to be replaced.
Honda is expected to created a fund of almost $200 million to expand its efforts to reach owners who have not responded to recall notices, or who are yet to be located.
The total negotiated value of Friday’s settlement was $605 million, but the plaintiffs agreed to a 20 percent discount in Honda’s out-of-pocket expenses in view of its prior efforts to repair affected vehicles and provide loaner cars, spokesman Chris Martin said.
In a statement, lead counsel Peter Prieto, stated that plaintiffs will continue to press similar claims against Ford Motor Co. and other automakers.
Case Name: In re: Takata Airbag Product Liability Litigation
Case Number: 15-md-02599
Court: U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Location: Miami, Florida.