Lieff Cabraser & Co-Counsel File Class Action Lawsuit Against Hyundai, Kia, and ZF-TRW Automotive for Fraud and Concealment of Deadly Airbag Safety Defect Affecting 12.5 Million Vehicles

Airbag Suits Continue

Airbag control unit (ACU) defect that causes the safety devices to fail affects airbags also supplied to numerous other vehicle manufacturers, including Toyota/Acura, Honda, FiatChrysler/Dodge/Jeep, and Mitsubishi

On April 29, 2019, Lieff Cabraser and Baron & Budd filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in California on behalf of consumers across the U.S. against Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motor America, and ZF-TRW Automotive Holding Corp. over defective vehicle airbags that fail to operate during crashes due to electrical overstress (“EOS”). As detailed in the Complaint, a defect in the application-specific integrated circuit (“ASIC”) built into the airbags causes a failure in the Airbag Control Unit that prevents the airbags and the seat belt pretensioners, both vital to maximizing safety in a vehicle crash, from deploying. As the Complaint further alleges, ZF-TRW, Hyundai, and Kia became aware of the ACU defect as early as 2011, but did nothing to protect consumers or warn of the product dangers until 2018. [Read more…]

GM Trust Negotiates New Proposed Settlement in Ignition Switch Defect Litigation

GM_Trust-blog

As reported by Law360 (subscription), the trust for General Motors’ unsecured creditors has submitted a new proposal to a New York bankruptcy court containing a revised proposed settlement of the company’s legacy ignition switch lawsuits, under which consumers who claim GM sold them defective vehicles seek class certification for their claims. [Read more…]

Judge Grants Final Approval to $250 Million State Farm RICO Lawsuit Settlement

Final Settlement Approved in State Farm RICO Lawsuit

As reported by Law360, U.S. District Judge David Herndon has granted final approval to a $250 million settlement in the class action lawsuit brought by State Farm policyholders accusing the auto insurer of using campaign donations to buy the vote of an Illinois Supreme Court Justice. [Read more…]

State Farm Settles Rigged-Judge Auto Parts RICO Fraud Trial for $250 Million

State Farm Settles Rigged-Judge Auto Parts RICO Fraud Trial

Hale, et al. v. State Farm, No. 3:12-cv-00660 (S.D. Illinois) began over 20 years ago with a class action suit by State Farm insureds alleging State Farm wrongly replaced their post-accident vehicle parts with non-OEM in violation of the terms of their insurance policies. In 1999, an Illinois state court jury awarded plaintiffs $456 million for breach of contract by the company, and the trial judge added $730 million in punitive damages. An appellate court reduced the verdict to $1.056 billion, at that time one of the largest class-action verdicts in U.S. history. [Read more…]

Ford Motor Co. to Settle its Takata Airbag Case for $300 Million

Ford Motor Co. to Settle its Takata Airbag Case for $300 Million

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. [Read more…]

Consumer Action Alert: Heads Up for VW 2.0-Liter Diesel Owners and Lessees to File Claims

Final claims deadline approaches for Volkswagen (VW) settlement

The Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” litigation settlement of more than $15 billion, announced in June 2016, is quickly approaching the deadline for 2.0-liter diesel owners and lessees to file claims and receive their benefits. This will ensure that these vehicles either are removed from the road or receive an approved emissions modification. [Read more…]

Settlement Approved in New York Mercedes-Benz Park-to-Reverse False Gear Wrongful Death Case

Settlement Approved in New York Mercedes Benz Park-to-Reverse False Gear Wrongful Death Case

The Suffolk County, New York probate court has approved a $1.55 million wrongful death settlement following the 2015 death of a beloved New York realtor and mother killed when her 2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic spontaneously self-shifted from park into reverse, running over and killing her as she left the car in park with the engine running in order to retrieve her signage after hosting an open house. [Read more…]

Takata Reaches Agreement to Pay Compensation for Injured Drivers and Passengers from Airbag Defect

Takata Reaches Agreement to Pay Compensation for Injured Drivers and Passengers from Airbag Defect

Automakers and Key Safety Systems (the company acquiring Takata’s viable business assets) have agreed upon a deal that will end the bankruptcy for Takata Corp’s U.S. unit, TK Holdings Inc. The agreement includes a trust that will be established to pay compensation for those injured or killed by defective Takata airbags. Compensation will vary based on the type of injury, ranging from $10,000 for bruising to $5 million for death or loss of eyesight. [Read more…]

Takata Airbag Recall Adds Even More Vehicle Models

Takata Airbag Recall Adds Even More Vehicle Models

1.2 Million New Vehicles Added to Ongoing Recall in Face of Airbag Explosion Threat

The threat of dangerous Takata airbags have led to yet another round of vehicle recalls, as U.S. safety regulators have named more than 1.2 million additional vehicle models across 14 different automakers to the Takata airbag recall list. The newest round of ongoing recalls includes Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Daimler Vans, Toyota, Tesla, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Subaru, Jaguar-Land Rover, McLaren, and Volkswagen. [Read more…]

Ford to 2006-Year Ranger Drivers: Stop Driving Your Vehicles Immediately

Ford to 2006-Year Ranger Drivers: Stop Driving Your Vehicles Immediately

Second Takata Airbag Death Confirmed in 2006 Ford Ranger Pickup

Ford Motor Co has alerted owners and lessees of 2006 Ford Ranger pickup trucks to immediately stop driving their vehicles in the wake of a second confirmed 2006 Ranger death seen as having been caused by an exploding defective Takata airbag inflator. Ford is warning all 2,600 2006-year Ranger owners on record to stop driving the vehicles right away and have the affected parts replaced without delay. [Read more…]

Toyota & Honda Recall Yet Another Million+ Vehicles in U.S. with Defective Takata Airbags

Toyota & Honda Recall Yet Another Million+ Vehicles in U.S. with Defective Takata Airbags

Right on the heels of a January 8 recall expansion that added 3 million airbags, automakers Toyota and Honda have announced the recall of more than 1 million additional vehicles in the United States that are equipped with defective and potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators. This marks yet another increase to a cumulative recall that was already the largest in U.S. history. [Read more…]

World’s Largest Auto Recall Expands Again, As Takata Adds Another 3 Million Airbags

World's Largest Auto Recall Expands Again; Takata Adds Another 3 Million Airbags to Recall

Japanese airbag maker Takata is adding another 3.3 million faulty airbag inflators to the world’s largest automotive recall in U.S. history. The newly recalled airbags correspond to vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla manufactured in 2009, 2010 and 2013. [Read more…]

Rollaway Injuries Prompt Fiat Chrysler Ram Truck Recall

U.S. Vehicle Safety Officials Investigating Fiat Chrysler Roll-Away Crashes

Company will recall 1.8 million Ram trucks that can dangerously shift out of park without warning

The New York Times reports that Fiat Chrysler has announced a recall of 1.8 million Ram trucks after receiving reports of 7 people suffering injuries after crashes the company admits “might be linked to the problem.” The company has linked the issue to the vehicles’ brake transmission shift interlock, “a device that normally prevents a vehicle from shifting out of park until the brake pedal is depressed.” Heat can apparently build up around the gearshift in a way that can cause the shift interlock device to fail. [Read more…]

Honda Reports 20th Death from Takata Airbag Explosion

Takata Airbag Injuries

As reported by the Associated Press and the LA Times, among others, Honda has indicated that exploding Takata vehicle airbags, the subject of widespread lawsuits and the largest auto recall in history, have claimed another life. The most recent airbag death occurred in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July. The airbag’s role in the tragic death was only confirmed recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which indicated the airbag’s inflator exploded and caused the death. Honda indicated that the airbag had previously been salvaged from another vehicle, a 2002 model Civic. [Read more…]

Judge Grants Final Approval to $741M Takata Airbag Settlement

Judge Grants Final Approval to $741m Takata Airbag Settlement

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. [Read more…]

Honda Settles Deadly Takata Airbags Case; Lawsuits Continue Against Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, and GM

Takata airbag lawsuits

On September 1, 2017, Honda agreed to a $605 million settlement in multidistrict litigation with consumers over dangerous and deadly Takata airbags in Honda vehicles. The settlement will cover owners of 11.4 million U.S. vehicles with potentially faulty Takata air bag inflators. Honda is the sixth automaker to avoid litigation via the settlement path after Nissan, BMW, Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota reached similar settlements valued at over $651 million earlier in the year. Honda’s settlement leaves suits ongoing against Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, and Mercedes-Benz, among other auto manufacturers. [Read more…]

Deadly Takata Airbag Suits Continue Against GM, Mercedes, Fiat Chrysler as Nissan Reaches Settlement

Airbag Suits Continue

On August 8, 2017, Nissan agreed to a $98 million settlement in multidistrict litigation with consumers over dangerous and deadly Takata airbags in Nissan vehicles. Nissan is the fifth automaker to escape litigation via settlement after BMW, Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota reached similar settlements valued at over $553 million earlier in the year. Nissan’s settlement leaves ongoing suits remaining against General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, and other auto manufacturers. [Read more…]

Experts Say GM Bellwether Win In Ignition Switch Defect Trial Not A Likely Predictor of Future Case Outcomes

GM Trust Negotiates New Proposed Settlement in Ignition Switch Defect Lawsuits

While GM won a victory in July 2017’s seventh and most recent bellwether trial over deadly ignition switch defects in GM vehicles, legal experts are saying such victories are far from a guarantee of future success for the automaker, which faces a myriad of additional lawsuits over allegedly defective GM vehicle ignition switches.

[Read more…]

NHTSA Investigating Ford Explorer SUV Exhaust Fume Leaks

NHTSA Investigating Ford Explorer SUV Exhaust Fume Leaks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is expanding its investigation into complaints about leaky exhaust fumes in Ford Explorer SUVs, adding 400,000 vehicles to bring the total review pool up to over 1.3 million Explorers with model years ranging from 2011-2017. Fume leaks inside the Ford vehicles have reportedly led to numerous instances of driver impairment. [Read more…]

Exploding Takata Airbag Kills Florida Driver in Car Crash

Exploding Takata Airbags

In the newest fatality relating to defective Takata airbags, a Florida driver was killed in a car accident when the inflator in a Takata airbag suddenly ruptured and exploded. The individual was driving a 2002 Honda Accord whose airbags had not been fixed in the massive Takata recall and repair scheme. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “if the airbag [indeed] caused the death, it would be the 19th death worldwide and the 13th in the U.S. blamed on the inflators.” [Read more…]