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

Toyota Subaru Mazda and BMW reached a proposed settlement that would compensate owners of 15.8 million vehicles for economic

The settlement covers 15.8 million vehicles, with Toyota having the biggest share, at 9.2 million.

The settlement includes an outreach program to contact owners; compensation for economic losses including out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500; rental cars for some owners; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.

Plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over defective Takata airbag inflators have reached a settlement with Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW that's worth $553 million.

Four carmakers today agreed to pay $553m (£425.6m) to settle a U.S. class-action lawsuit over potentially defective Takata airbags inflators. The automakers said the settlements, if approved by a Florida judge, will be overseen by a court-appointed administrator.

A recall of vehicles fitted with the Takata airbags began in 2013, due to a safety defect which meant inflators could explode with excessive force and potentially launch shrapnel into cars.

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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.

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. Safety regulators have tied 11 deaths in the USA and about 180 injuries to ruptured Takata airbag inflators.

The settlement would also require the automakers to step up their efforts to locate owners and educate them about the need to complete the recall repairs. 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 USA history involving 42 million vehicles and 69 million air bag inflators.

Takata pled guilty to wire fraud earlier, agreeing to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution.

Toyota would pay the most under the settlement, at $278.5 million.

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