Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and BMW have agreed to pay a combined $553.6 million in a settlement of pending multidistrict litigation over the dangerous Takata airbag defects, which have been linked to more than 100 injuries and 13 deaths worldwide. Under the settlement’s terms, BMW of North America LLC will pay $131 million, Subaru of America Inc. will pay $68.2 million, Mazda North American Operations will pay $75.8 million, and Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay $278.5 million.
As noted by Law360, “The deals are meant to accelerate the removal of dangerous airbag inflators from 15.8 million affected vehicles and will provide compensation to class members for economic losses resulting from the recall, such as for rental cars, and a customer support program that includes an extended warranty.” More than 9 million Toyota vehicles, 2.6 million Subaru, 2.3 million BMW and 1.7 million Mazda vehicles were included in the litigation leading to this new Takata airbag settlement.
Infamous as the largest recall in U.S. auto safety history, the affected Takata airbags contain a propellant that can cause the airbag to explode upon impact in an accident, shooting out metal debris from the casing towards drivers and passengers. Numerous lawsuits charge that the Japan-based airbag manufacturer knew of the defects in its product a decade ago, after conducting secret tests that showed dangerous flaws in the airbags. But rather than alert federal safety regulators to these risks, Takata allegedly ordered its engineers to delete test data.
Litigation over the airbags against other carmakers, including Ford, Nissan and Honda, will continue.
The case is In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:15-md-02599, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuit & Your Legal Rights
Lieff Cabraser represents drivers across the U.S. harmed by these air bag defects in lawsuits against Takata. Nearly 34 million vehicles, most manufactured prior to 2009, have been recalled worldwide due to the problem. This is the largest automotive recall to date in U.S. history. These airbags were installed in U.S. and foreign made cars and pickup trucks including in vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and BMW, among others.