Owners of Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and BMW vehicles affected by the massive shrapnel-shooting Takata airbag defect could soon receive compensation for past repairs and other economic losses, as the automakers agreed today to pay $553 million to compensate owners and create programs intended to repair defective airbags more quickly.
The settlement, filed this morning in a Florida federal court, is expected to accelerate the removal of defective Takata airbag inflators and compensate owners and lessees of approximately 15.3 million vehicles equipped with the airbags.
If the settlement is approved by the court, Toyota would contribute $278 million to the fund, followed by $131 million from BMW, $75.8 million from Mazda, and Subaru’s $68.2 million.
As part of the deal, the automakers will use these funds to create several programs, including those for customer outreach, rental car loaners, a out-of-pocket claims process, and customer support.
“This agreement achieves our goals of educating consumers about the urgent need to have their recall remedies completed while providing them compensation for their economic losses,” Peter Prieto, Court-appointed Chair Lead Counsel, said in a statement.
The soon-to-be established independent outreach program is aimed at increasing the recall remedy completion rates for affected vehicles.
To date, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 15.4 million airbags affected by the recall have been repaired.
Of the carmakers involved in the settlement, BMW has repaired 340,802 airbags, Mazda has repaired 233,555, Subaru 352,365, and Toyota 1.7 million airbags.
The new program will regularly contact class members through direct mail, phone calls, email, internet ads, and social media to educate them about the settlement and incentivize them to receive the recall remedy, representatives for the plaintiff’s said in a statement Thursday.
The settlement also creates a compensation plan to cover the economic losses of owners and lessees of the carmakers’ vehicles, as well as establishing program for rental car loaners.
The rental car loaner program applies only to customers who own a vehicle included in the highest priority group as established by NHTSA.
In order to be eligible, the settlement requires owners to contact a dealership and request a replacement airbag. If the dealership informs the customer they do not have required parts available, the owners can request a rental or loaner vehicle.
To obtain compensation for out-of-pocket claims, owners must submit a claim form to a Settlement Special Administrator, who will determine composition. Reimbursable expenses may include rental car and transportation expenses; storage or towing charges for completion of the Recall Remedy; or, childcare expenses or lost wages necessarily incurred during the time in which the Recall Remedy is being performed.
The customer support program is intended to provide program information to customers related to repairs and adjustments on the replacement inflators, including an extended warranty.
The program will generally last for no less than 75,000 miles from the date the Recall Remedy was performed on the vehicle, and each eligible vehicle will receive no less than two years of coverage.
While today’s settlement covers millions of vehicles, it does not include tens of millions manufactured by other automakers, including Honda, Ford, and Nissan.
Vehicles covered by the settlement include:
|Model Years||Make and Model|
|2003-2007||Toyota Corolla (JPN)|
|2003-2008||Toyota Corolla (NAP)|
|2006-2011||Toyota Yaris (HB)|
|2007-2012||Toyota Yaris (SDN)|
|2009-2013||Toyota Corolla (JPN)|
|2009-2013||Toyota Corolla (NAP)|
|2014-2017||Toyota Corolla (NAP)|
|BMW 1 Series|
|2014-2017||BMW 2 Series|
|2000-2017||BMW 3 Series|
|2014-2017||BMW 4 Series|
|BMW 5 Series|
|2012-2017||BMW 6 Series|
|BMW X6 I8 EV|