Electronics

Automakers settle Takata airbag case for $553m

Automakers settle Takata airbag case for $553m

Honda already provides rental cars to affected customers as the settlement disclosed Thursday proposes, and remains focused on tending to customers while continuing to participate in legal processes associated with the class-action lawsuits in Florida, a spokesman said. The episode has triggered the largest recall in US history.

The agreement was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division as part of the multidistrict litigation now being overseen by Judge Federico Moreno.

Since then, carmakers have recalled 46 million Takata airbag inflators in 29 million American vehicles. A Ford spokeswoman had no immediate comment and Takata declined to comment.

Takata earlier this year was hit with a $1bn in criminal penalties to resolve an investigation into the inflators, after pleading guilty to criminal wrongdoing.

The companies will pay a total of 553 million dollars.

The settlement and the case will help Takata's potential buyer to assess potential liabilities, and could help facilitate other carmakers sued in class actions to reach similar agreements.

The latest settlement, which still requires approval from a federal judge, aims to speed up repairs of recalled vehicles.

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Under the terms of the agreement, the automakers will fund outreach programs with the goal of "significantly increasing" recall completion rates.

And not all of that money will go to affected auto owners. Owners getting a recall can be reimbursed for lost wages, transportation and child care costs. A portion of the settlement fund is devoted to address the low number of vehicles that have received the recall remedy since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) first announced recalls of defective Takata airbags.

Air bags developed by Takata can rupture violently, shooting metal shards toward the car's occupants, and were installed in 42 million vehicles that were sold in the United States.