Toyota, three other automakers settle suit over faulty Takata air bags

Four carmakers will pay $553m to settle claims over Takata airbags

Four automakers agreed to a $553 million settlement to address class-action economic loss claims covering owners of almost 16 million recalled vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators, according to court documents filed on Thursday. If approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the settlement will see the four manufacturers provide a combined $553 million.

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

Auto makers are in the process of recalling an unprecedented 42 million vehicles with almost 70 million Takata air bags in the USA, a crisis that has dented the supplier's finances and forced it to seek an investment from a rival and weigh a bankruptcy filing. It also provides compensation for economic losses resulting from the recall.

"The low number of recalls to-date demonstrates the need for a settlement of this type, and we look forward to accelerating the removal of defective Takata airbags from the roads", Prieto continued.

BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota (the automakers) today announced agreements to resolve economic loss claims in the Takata multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the United States.

Free rental auto for use while awaiting repairs.

Around 100 million of the Takata inflators are thought to have been recalled worldwide, across 19 carmakers.

The goal of the settlement is to increase recall remedy rates for cars fitted with the inflators. Owners getting a recall can be reimbursed for lost wages, transportation and child-care expenses.

More than 14 million of the air bags have been repaired in the USA, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lawsuits against Honda Motor Co, Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co have not been settled, lawyers said. Honda at the time said the allegations made false assertions that it and other auto makers behaved irresponsibly despite Takata admitting to deceiving the Japanese auto maker and other vehicle companies. So far the air bags have been replaced in fewer than a third of the affected Toyota and Subaru vehicles and fewer than a fifth of those from BMW and Mazda.

News of the proposed settlement comes months after Takata agreed to pay $1 billion over air bag fraud; three of the company's executives were also criminally charged.

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