According to Honda, a $200 million fund will be established to expand the Takata air bag inflator recall in an effort to reach owners of affected Honda vehicles who have not been located or have not responded to recall notices.
If approved, the preliminary settlement, would make Honda the sixth automaker to be exit the litigation, following Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW who agreed to pay a combined $553.6 million. Nissan has also settled for $98 million. If Honda’s deal is approved, Ford would be the only remaining automaker in the lawsuit.
According to the terms of the deal, class members will be provided with rental or loaner vehicles while they deal with fixing their cars. Remaining funds will be distributed to class members in amounts up to $250.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, claiming that Takata air bags contained volatile ammonium nitrate that when inflated, can misfire, especially in humid conditions, blasting chemicals and shrapnel at passengers and drivers. Takata's air bag inflators have been linked to at least 11 deaths in the US and the company has faced massive global recalls.
Prior to filing for bankruptcy in June of this year, Takata pled guilty to wire fraud, agreed to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution, and acknowledged that it ran a scheme to use false reports and other misrepresentations to convince automakers to buy air bag systems that contained faulty, inferior or otherwise defective inflators.
The case is In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:15-md-02599, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.