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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Mark Chalos to Discuss Auto Defect Litigation at September TTLA Auto Accident Seminar

Mark Chalos to Discuss Auto Defect Litigation at September TTLA Auto Accident Seminar

Lieff Cabraser partner Mark P. Chalos is scheduled to speak at the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) Auto Accident Seminar on September 28, 2017 at the AT&T Building in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Chalos will be discussing “Auto Defect Litigation” from 3:00-4:00pm CDT. [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…]

Takata Recalls An Additional 2.7 Million Airbags Over Hazardous Defect

Takata Recalls An Additional 2.7 Million Airbags Over Hazardous Defect

Takata Corp. has announced plans to recall another 2.7 million faulty airbag inflators that were built between the years 2005- 2012 and installed in Ford, Nissan and Mazda vehicles sold in the U.S. This addition expands Takata’s airbag recall, already the largest automotive industry recall in U.S. history, over dangerously explosive airbags that have been tied to at least 11 deaths. [Read more…]

Automakers Reach Combined $554 Million Settlement on Dangerous Takata Airbags

Automakers Reach Combined $554 Million Settlement on Dangerous Takata Airbags

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. [Read more…]

California Family Files Suit to Hold Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Accountable for Deadly Injuries Suffered by Father and Son in Horrific Jeep Liberty Explosion and Fire and to Warn Other Drivers of Lethal Jeep Fire Risks

Deadly Injuries Suffered by Father and Son in Horrific Jeep Liberty Explosion and Fire

Photo: Post-accident view of the Almanza and Urquiza family’s burned-out Jeep Liberty.

Los Angeles–(Business Wire)–Rick Patterson of Southern California plaintiffs’ law firm Owen Patterson & Owen and Fabrice N. Vincent of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announce that Nancy Urquiza Avila, Jacqueline Almanza Urquiza, and Yaritza Angulo Urquiza, residents of Oxnard, California, have filed a personal injury lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against FCA US LLC (“Fiat Chrysler Automobiles”) and certain other parties for the lethal injuries suffered by Cesar Almanza Garcia and Cesar Almanza Urquiza in an explosion and fire in their Jeep Liberty that occurred as a result of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ failure to effectively and safely recall the 2002 Jeep Liberty to meaningfully protect occupants from extraordinary risks of fuel-fed fires following read-end collisions. [Read more…]

Lawsuit Says Automakers Knew of Takata Airbag Hazards for Years Without Acting

Lawsuit Says Automakers Knew of Takata Airbag Hazards for Years Without Acting

New allegations point to automakers keeping silent in the face of known dangers to maximize profits

As alleged in new documents filed in the Takata airbag rupture dangers lawsuit, at least four automakers “knew for years that Takata’s airbags were dangerous and could rupture violently but continued to use those airbags in their vehicles to save on costs, lawyers representing victims of the defect asserted in a court document filed on Monday.” The New York Times reports that while previous investigations had viewed the automakers as victims taken in by a “rogue supplier” that had falsified safety data to conceal the deadly defects, new information brought to court by plaintiff attorneys in the case indicate a much deeper involvement on the part of the major automakers who used the defective airbags in their vehicles for years. [Read more…]

Over 650,000 Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall, Including Tesla, BMW & Nissan

652,000 More Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall, Including Tesla, BMW & Nissan

Over a dozen automakers, including Tesla, BMW and Nissan, have recalled 652,000 more vehicles containing the faulty Takata airbag inflators, which can explode upon impact in an accident and dangerously shoot out metal debris from the casing towards drivers and passengers. This recall is expected to start in February. The newly added vehicles join 6 million already recalled in the U.S., and 34 million more worldwide. [Read more…]

Law360’s Top Auto Developments, Litigation Matters to Watch in 2017

Law360’s Top Auto Developments, Litigation Matters to Watch in 2017

Legal publication Law360 has provided a list of the top, most interesting automotive trials and vehicle legislation to watch for in the coming year. These matters include ongoing Volkswagen diesel emission cases, GM ignition switches, Takata airbags, self-driving car and vehicle safety regulations, and vehicle cybersecurity and connectivity. [Read more…]

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

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a potential Fiat Chrysler auto defect, in which the vehicles roll away despite being shifted into park. U.S. auto safety regulators will be inspecting about 1 million 2013-2016 model year Ram 1500 pickup trucks and 2014-2016 Dodge Durango SUVs in the wake of numerous vehicle roll-away reports. These auto injury reports have included nine injuries and 25 crashes so far. [Read more…]