BMW, Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru Settle $553 Million Civil Suit for Takata Airbags - Brief News
Published On: Sat, May 20th, 2017

BMW, Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru Settle $553 Million Civil Suit for Takata Airbags

Four automakers—Toyota, Subaru, BMW, and Mazda—have agreed to pay a combined $ 553 million for economic losses related to the Takata airbag recalls.

The automakers have jointly settled a class-action lawsuit demanding owners be compensated while their cars are undergoing repairs. Miami-based law firm Podhurst Orseck announced it filed an agreement with the automakers in federal court on Thursday that covers 15.8 million cars in the United States. In total, Toyota will pay out $ 278.5 million, followed by BMW ($ 131 million), Mazda ($ 75.8 million), and Subaru ($ 68.3 million). The lawsuit does not compensate owners for any alleged lost resale value in their cars nor does it address personal injury or property damage claims. The court must approve the settlement before it is final.

A large chunk of the money will pay for an outreach program that will include a barrage of mail, email, texts, advertisements, and phone calls from repair shops and other third parties meant to convince owners to repair their cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has, since November 2015, required automakers to conduct much of this outreach themselves. Still, none of these four automakers have repaired as much as a third of their respective vehicles, according to NHTSA’s latest data through April 28. Only Honda (not included in this settlement), which has vehicles with the most dangerous Takata airbags that have killed 10 of the 11 victims in the United States, has a repair rate above 50 percent; most automakers’ replacement rates are in the teens and 20s.

Mazda RX-8 (above) and BMW 3-series (top) are among cars covered in the settlement.

Under the settlement, the four automakers must arrange for loaner cars or reimburse owners for rental cars if they must wait 30 days or more before a replacement airbag inflator arrives in stock. They can also be reimbursed for lost wages, child care, travel, and other “reasonable” costs of owning a vehicle that is out of service. Owners may each receive up to $ 500 in payments, depending on any prior amounts they have claimed and what money is left over after the four years of the settlement period. A two-year/75,000-mile warranty is required to cover any defects or problems that result from the new inflators.

For a full list of eligible vehicles, see our Takata list for details.

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BMW, Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru Settle $553 Million Civil Suit for Takata Airbags