Automaker Ford Motor Co. has agreed to a $299.1 million settlement in the multidistrict Takata airbag defects litigation. Nearly 70 million airbags from more than nearly 20 different auto manufacturers worldwide have been recalled due to dangerous flaws in vehicle airbags manufactured by Japan-based Takata Corporation.
The recalled defective Takata airbags contain a dangerous propellant that can degrade over time and cause the airbags to explode, shooting metal debris towards drivers and passengers. At least 20 people have died worldwide and over 280 have been hurt from explosions in the faulty airbags. 19 automakers have recalled well over 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles, making this automotive recall the largest in U.S. history.
The settlement will provide compensation to consumers for their losses – this includes reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses or up to a $500 payment for those who don’t have any documentation of those out-of-pocket expenses. Ford will also provide rental cars while consumers wait for the airbag recall repairs.
“Under the terms of the deal, Ford will inform affected consumers about the recall of cars with the defective air bags using a state-of-the-art outreach program that regularly contacts class members through direct mail, phone calls, email, internet ads, social media and in-person canvassing, according to the plaintiffs,” reports Law360.
Ford is the seventh automaker to reach a settlement in the Takata MDL, after Honda agreed last September to a $605 million deal, Nissan settled for $98 million the preceding August, and Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW agreed to pay a combined $553.6 million in May 2017. Total value across all seven Takata settlements has reached over $1.5 billion. This latest settlement is pending final approval from district court, and more information will be forthcoming.
The MDL 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
Automakers have a legal duty to produce cars and components that are safe, and promptly correct any known safety defects. Lieff Cabraser represents drivers across the U.S. harmed by these air bag defects in lawsuits against Takata. Nearly 42 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.