Have an exploding airbag? You might get $500

Toyota, 3 other automakers settle suit over Takata air bags

According to the settlement terms, BMW of North America LLC will pay $131 million, Mazda North American Operations will pay $75,805,050, Subaru of America Inc. will pay $68,262,257 and Toyota Motor Corp., $278,500,000.

The settlements also provide compensation for economic losses resulting from the recall including paying reasonable out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500, rental cars to the most at-risk owners while they wait for recall remedies; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.

The settlement addressed claims from the owners of nearly 16 million recalled vehicles, and will resolve economic losses of vehicle owners and lessees, including reimbursing them the cost of replacement vehicles while waiting for the airbags to be fixed. Plaintiffs are still pursuing these suits, as well economic loss claims against Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., according to their lawyers.

Takata inflators, which can explode with excessive force and unleash metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks, are blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide. The court must still approve the settlement. The issue has been linked to at least 11 deaths in the USA and 180 injuries. Owners getting a recall can be reimbursed for lost wages, transportation and child care costs.

The recall by 19 major companies of almost 16m vehicles around the world was the largest automotive recall ever for a single safety issue. As of April 28, the recall completion rates for the four companies ranged from a high at 31.89 percent for Toyota to a low at 16.48 percent for BMW, citing federal regulators' statistics.

In January, the company pleaded guilty to corporate criminal charges and agreed to pay a $1 billion fine.

The deal - which comes more than eight years after initial reports of the recall first emerged - stipulates that the carmakers will pay $553 million. The problem touched off the largest automotive recall in USA history involving 42 million vehicles and 69 million air bag inflators.

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