Miami, FL: A $605 million settlement has been granted final approval by a federal judge, ending multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Honda related to the defective Takata airbags. The approval makes Honda the sixth automobile manufacturer to exit the litigation.
According to the terms of the settlement, portions of the settlement funds will be used to inform additional affected drivers about Takata’s defective air bags and to cover drivers’ out-of-pocket expenses incurred while getting their recalled cars fixed, including child care costs. Class members will also be provided with rental or loaner vehicles while they are having their cars fixed. Remaining funds will be distributed to class members in amounts up to $250. Class representatives will receive $5,000 each.
Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW have all settled, paying a combined $553.6 million. In August 2017, Nissan settled for $98 million.
Takata was facing its own MDL, alleging that Takata embarked on a concealment campaign, designed to cover-up evidence of airbag defects: specifically, that the airbags contain ammonium nitrate that can spontaneously explode, sending shrapnel into the vehicle, injuring passengers and drivers alike. Takata filed for Chapter 11 in June, under the weight of billions of dollars of potential liability and trillions in claims stemming from the company's faulty air bag inflators.
The case is In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:15-md-02599, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.