Toyota, 3 other automakers settle suit over Takata air bags


The settlement highlights the knock-on effect of the recalls, which began around 2008 and covers about 100-million inflators around the world used in vehicles made by 19 auto makers.

Subaru Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and BMW AG reached a collective $553 million settlement with current and former owners and lessees of 15.8 million vehicles to address lagging repairs and financial losses associated with the air bags, which risk exploding and spraying shrapnel, according to court documents filed Thursday in a Miami federal court.

Plaintiffs attorneys who negotiated the latest accord said Thursday that the deal is a sensible step toward removing unsafe air bag inflators from the road and easing the financial impact on consumers.

BMW is set to be accountable for $131 million, and Mazda is supposed to zoom-zoom about $76 million if a Florida judge approves the settlement deal. 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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Lawsuits against Honda Motor Co (7267.T), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) have not been settled, lawyers said. A representative for Takata declined to comment.

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. That includes $850 million in restitution the Japanese automotive supplier must pay to auto makers. The resolution could only help to remove one judicial proceeding uncertainty.

Starting now, for the next month, I invite you to follow all Zacks' private buys and sells in real time from value to momentum.from stocks under $10 to ETF to option movers.from insider trades to companies that are about to report positive earnings surprises (we've called them with 80%+ accuracy). Mazda has completed repairs on 18.16 percent of affected cars, and BMW brings up the rear with 16.48 percent completion. The programs offered in these agreements are meant to increase recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflators, among other customer benefits.

According to Toyota, the agreement will reimburse plaintiffs for travel costs while their cars are repaired. In addition, they will pay residual distributions to consumers of up to $500 depending on how much money remains after meeting outreach and reimbursement obligations.