$605 million settlement to promote safety recalls that will accelerate removal of defective airbag inflators from more than 16.5 million affected vehicles
Plaintiffs in the Takata Airbag Product Liability Litigation today filed a class action settlement agreement dealing with the claims against Honda Motor and its affiliates that will accelerate the removal of defective airbag inflators from approximately 16.5 million affected vehicles while also compensating consumers for their economic losses. The proposed $605 million settlement will provide a number of benefits to current and former owners and lessees of the affected vehicles, similar to agreements that have been previously announced with Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Nissan. The agreement was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division as part of the multidistrict litigation presently being overseen by Judge Federico A. Moreno.
“In reaching this agreement, Honda, to its credit and the benefit of its customers, has complemented and enhanced its ongoing industry-innovative efforts to remove the defective Takata airbags from its vehicles,” stated Peter Prieto, Court-appointed Chair Lead Counsel, who, along with other members of the Plaintiffs’ leadership, negotiated the settlement on behalf of consumers. “This agreement will not only expand awareness of the Takata recalls and improve driver safety by accelerating the removal of defective airbags from our roads, but will provide compensation to affected Honda consumers. We will continue prosecuting our claims against Ford and other automobile manufacturers to ensure that our clients receive the relief they deserve.”
Among the benefits provided for in the settlement is an outreach program overseen by an independent Settlement Special Administrator that enhances and expands upon Honda’s outreach efforts to dramatically boost recall remedy completion rates. The 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 and exercise their rights under this agreement.
The settlement also provides compensation to class members for their economic losses resulting from the recall in the form of reimbursement for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500; requirements to provide rental cars to class members while they wait for their recall remedies; and the provision of a customer support program for repairs and adjustments on the replacement inflators, including an extended warranty.
This settlement is subject to Court approval. If preliminary approval is granted, class members will receive more information about the terms of the settlement. The benefits of the Enhanced Rental Car Loaner Program will be provided no later than the date of preliminary approval. When and if the Court grants final approval, the claims process will open to eligible class members pending any appeals that are filed. Personal injury claims related to the Takata Airbag Litigation are not covered by this settlement.
More details on the settlement agreement can be found at www.autoairbagsettlement.com.
A class action settlement valued at $605 million will resolve economic loss claims related to Honda’s use of allegedly defective Takata airbag inflators in more than 16.5 million vehicles (please see chart below for full list of the makes and models of subject vehicles).
- This settlement does not involve claims of personal injury or property damage
The proposed settlement benefits include, among other components, an Outreach Program, Enhanced Rental Car Loaner Program, Out-of-Pocket Claims Process, Customer Support Program, and Residual Distribution of remaining funds.
- The Outreach Program, overseen and administered by the Settlement Special Administrator, shall be designed to significantly increase Recall Remedy completion rates via traditional and non-traditional outreach efforts, including the expansion and enhancement of those currently being used by Honda and conducted in connection with NHTSA’s November 3, 2015 Coordinated Remedy Order and amendments
- The Outreach Program for the Takata Airbag Inflator Recalls will include elements such as direct contact of Class Members via U.S. Mail, telephone, social media, e-mail, and texting; contact of Class Members by third parties (e.g., independent repair shops); and multi-media campaigns, such as through print, television, radio, and the internet
- Up to $40 million of the Outreach Program will be used to reach owners of the most at-risk vehicles, which are equipped with certain PSDI inflators known as “Alpha” inflators. This aspect of the Outreach Program, called the “Alpha Program,” may include in-person visits to addresses where Subject Vehicles with Alpha inflators are registered or located, and the performance of the Recall Remedy on Subject Vehicles in the field via mobile units.
Enhanced Rental Car Loaner Program
- A rental or loaner vehicle will be provided to any Class member who brings a recalled Subject Vehicle to a dealership for completion of the Recall Remedy and requests a rental/loaner vehicle while awaiting the Recall Remedy, while the Recall Remedy is in progress, or if there is a delay in performing the Recall Remedy on the recalled Subject Vehicle.
- The benefits of this program will be provided no later than the date the Preliminary Approval Order is issued.
Out-of-Pocket Claims Process
- Class members can ask to be reimbursed for certain reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the Takata Airbag Inflator Recalls
- To be eligible for reimbursement, you must submit a Claim Form, which will be mailed to Class members and made available on the settlement website
- The Settlement Special Administrator will determine the types of reimbursable costs, which may include unreimbursed 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 Settlement Special Administrator can also reimburse other categories of out-of-pocket expenses if they are deemed reasonable
- Any funds that remain at the end of each of the first four settlement program years, after all Outreach Program and out-of-pocket expense payments for that year have been made, shall be distributed in an amount up to $250, to Class Members who:
- submitted claims in that year or prior program years that were previously rejected; or
- sought to register for a residual payment only
- If administratively feasible, any funds that remain at the end of the last settlement program year after the Residual Distribution shall be distributed on a per capita basis, in an amount up to $250, to Class Members who:
- submitted claims in this or prior program years that were previously paid;
- submitted claims in this or prior program years that were previously rejected and have not received any prior claims payments under this settlement program; or,
- sought to register for a residual payment only
Customer Support Program
- The Customer Support Program will provide prospective coverage for repairs and adjustments (including parts and labor) needed to correct defects, if any, in materials or workmanship of the Takata PSAN inflators contained in the driver’s or passenger’s front airbag modules of Subject Vehicles, or replacement driver or passenger inflators installed pursuant to the Takata Airbag Recall in the Subject Vehicles
- This benefit will be automatically transferred and will remain with the Subject Vehicle regardless of ownership
- The Customer Support Program will generally last for no less than 75,000 miles from the date the Recall Remedy was performed on the Subject Vehicle, and each eligible Subject Vehicle will receive no less than 2 years of coverage from the date of the issuance of the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order or from the date the Recall Remedy was performed on the applicable Subject Vehicle, whichever is later
The settlement will not become effective unless and until the Court grants final approval of the settlement at or after the Fairness Hearing and after any appeals are resolved in favor of the settlement.
Consumers are part of the settlement if they are:
- a current owner and/or lessee of a Subject Vehicle distributed for sale or lease in the United States or all of its territories and possessions, as of the date of the issuance of the Preliminary Approval Order, or
- a former owner and/or lessee of a Subject Vehicle distributed for sale or lease in the United States and all of its territories and possessions, who sold or returned, pursuant to a lease, a Subject Vehicle after November 11, 2008 and through the date of the issuance of the Preliminary Approval Order.
The Subject Vehicles are as follows:
|MODEL YEAR||MAKE AND MODEL|
|2001-2011||HONDA CIVIC 4D|
|2001-2011||HONDA CIVIC 2D|
|2001-2012||HONDA ACCORD 4D-L4|
|2001-2002, 2008-2012||HONDA ACCORD 4D-V6|
|2001-2002, 2008-2012||HONDA ACCORD 2D-L4|
|2001-2002, 2008-2012||HONDA ACCORD 2D-V6|
|2010-2014, 2015 (RC)||HONDA ACCORD CROSSTOUR|
|2011-2014, 2015 (RC)||HONDA CR-Z|
|2011-2014||ACURA TSX WGN|
|2002-2003, 2009-2014||ACURA TL/TLX|
|2012-2015||HONDA CIVIC 4D|
|2012-2015||HONDA CIVIC 2D|
|2013||HONDA ACCORD 4D-L4|
|2013||HONDA ACCORD 4D-V6|
|2013||HONDA ACCORD 2D-L4|
|2013||HONDA ACCORD 2D-V6|
|2013-2015, 2016 (RC)||ACURA ILX|
|2014-2016, 2017 (RC)||ACURA RL/RLX|
|2013-2016, 2017 (RC)||ACURA RDX|