A Florida federal judge has granted final approval to an aggregate settlement of $741 million with Toyota, BMW, Subaru and Mazda over claims relating to vehicles containing dangerous and defective Takata airbags, linked to more than 100 injuries and 19 deaths worldwide.
Infamous as the largest recall in U.S. auto safety history, the defective 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 airbag flaws. But rather than alert federal safety regulators to these risks, Takata allegedly ordered its engineers to delete test data.
The settlement has Toyota Motor Corp. paying $278.5 million, BMW of North America LLC paying $131 million, Subaru of America Inc. $68.26 million, and Mazda North American Operations set to pay $75.8 million. In addition to the $553.6 million in aggregate payments, class members will also receive the value of the extended warranties of 10 years or 150,000 miles on the replacement airbag inflators.
According to Law360, “the four automakers were the first to exit the sprawling multidistrict litigation over the largest auto recall in the nation’s history.”
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.