4 automakers agree to $553M settlement of Takata airbag claims


Toyota will pay the largest sum, $278.5m, while BMW's share is $131m, Mazda's is $76m and Subaru's is $68m, according to court documents filed today.

The settlements also provide compensation for economic losses resulting from the recall including paying reasonable out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500, rental cars to the most at-risk owners while they wait for recall remedies; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.

Takata's air bag inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

The four automakers said in a joint statement they agreed to settle "given the size, scope and severity of the Takata recall", but did not admit fault or liability.

There are four sections of the proposal, which must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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Part of the settlement money will be used to encourage consumers whose cars are under recall to bring them to dealers for fix. The plaintiffs filed papers to settle their claims against the companies Thursday, saying the deal covers almost 16 million vehicles. The issue has been linked to at least 11 deaths in the USA and 180 injuries. The companies will also offer rental cars to customers who request them and can not get replacement parts for their vehicle within 30 days.

The problem touched off the largest automotive recall in US history involving 42 million vehicles. NHTSA says only 32 percent of Toyota owners, 31 percent of Subaru owners, 18 percent of Mazda owners and 16 percent of BMW owners had completed the repairs.

More than nine million Toyota vehicles, 2.6 million Subaru vehicles, 2.3 million BMW vehicles and 1.7 million Mazda vehicles, are covered by the settlement, according to the plaintiffs.

Takata agreed pleaded guilty to fraud in February after agreeing to pay a $1 billion penalty.

The deal - which comes more than eight years after initial reports of the recall first emerged - stipulates that the carmakers will pay $553 million.