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Vehicle owners to receive $553M in product recall settlement

A settlement agreement has been reached to reimburse customers $553 million in order to facilitate recalls of the infamous Takata Corp. airbags. Takata has been a focal point of the largest safety recall in the history of the auto industry. The product recall settlement could affect customers in many states, including Ohio.

The airbags have been linked to as many as 17 deaths worldwide. The car companies that are part of the settlement are BMW, Mazda Motor Corp., Subaru Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. While the settlement does not cover personal injury losses or death, it will cover as many as 15.8 million recalled vehicles.

Some car owners will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. Some will receive loaner vehicles while waiting for repairs to be made. An outreach program will be set up to help boost participation in the recall program. Any money that is left over from the settlement will be distributed among vehicle owners and those who have leased the automobiles. They will receive as much as $500 each in cash.

Multiple personal injury lawsuits and economic loss lawsuits have also been filed against Takata and these car companies, as well as Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. Over 100 million airbags are expected to be part of the recall, which is due to the fact that shards of glass can impale vehicle occupants when the product malfunctions. Takata has also reached a $1 billion settlement with the United States government, which includes a criminal fine of $25 million.

The product recall for these defective airbags is nationwide, including in Ohio. Anyone who has suffered economic loss, pain, injury or the death of a loved one due to a faulty product may have the right to legal recourse. A personal injury attorney with experience handling products liability claims at the state and federal level can help a client build a case in order to seek compensation for documented monetary damages.

Source: bloomberg.com, "Takata Rises as Carmakers to Pay $553 Million Over Recall Losses", Margaret Cronin, May 18, 2017

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