Toyota, BMW, Subaru, Mazda agree to $553 million settlement with Takata

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, the Telegraph reports.

The lawsuits are pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida - In RE: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation - Case No. 1:15-md-02599.

Takata's inflator defects caused at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries because of explosion with an excessive force.

The settlement highlights the knock-on effect of the recalls, which began around 2008 and covers around 100 million inflators around the world used in vehicles made by 19 automakers. By 2019, automakers expect to recall 64-69 million USA inflators in 42 million vehicles.

BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota have agreed to a settlement to fund consumer outreach, rental auto and out-of-pocket cost reimbursement programs for owners of affected cars, according to a joint statement. It also provides compensation for economic losses resulting from the recall.

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The deal, which must still be approved by a federal judge, will cost Toyota $278.5 million, BMW $131 million, Mazda $75.8 million and Subaru $68.3 million.

The settlement includes a new independent outreach program that seeks to dramatically increase recall remedy completion rates and will regularly contact owners.

According to Toyota, the agreement will reimburse plaintiffs for travel costs while their cars are repaired.

"The low number of recalls to-date demonstrates the need for a settlement of this type, and we look forward to accelerating the removal of defective Takata airbags from the roads", Prieto continued.

Automakers have recalled 46 million Takata air bag inflators in 29 million USA vehicles.

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Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW are the first automakers to exit the massive MDL, which covers the largest auto recall in United States history.

Free rental vehicle for use while awaiting repairs.

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

Other auto makers including Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. aren't part of the settlement, and still face lawsuits seeking recompense for financial losses, plaintiffs' lawyers said.

The settlement comes in the wake of mass recalls of airbags produced by Japanese company Takata.

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