Nissan has agreed to pay 97.7 million dollars to settle class action claims of consumer economic loss in United States. This is related to the the recall of 4.4 million vehicles in the country owing to faulty Takata air bag inflators.
Nissan said that it was not admitting any fault under the settlement which is similar to ones reached with other major automakers as well.In June, a federal judge in Miami granted preliminary approval to settlements with Toyota, Subaru, BMW and Mazda totaling 553 million dollars and affecting 15.8 million vehicles with Takata inflators. Honda and Ford have not agreed to settle consumer economic loss claims yet.
More than 18 deaths and 180 injuries have been reported worldwide due to faulty Takata airbags which had pushed Takata Corporation to file for bankruptcy protection in June. At the time of crash, Takata airbags can explode with excessive force, releasing metal shrapnel inside the vehicle.
All the settlements that have reached so far have included an outreach program to contact owners of recalled vehicles and to attend to the the low number of completed repairs, as well as compensation for economic losses including out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500; rental cars for some owners; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.Nissan said its settlement is “intended to significantly increase customer outreach and to accelerate recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflator recalls.”
As on June end, just about 29.9 percent of Nissan vehicles recalled with faulty Takata inflators had been fixed. While the settlement is subject to court approval, a hearing to grant final approval for the other four manufacturer settlements has been set for October 25.
Recently, Takata had agreed to plead guilty for criminal wrongdoing and pay 1 billion dollars to clear a US Federal Investigation regarding its ill fated inflators.
Takata had also agreed to setup two different restitution funds; an 850 million dollars to compensate automakers for the recall process and a 125 million dollar fund for individual owners injured by its airbags and who had not reached into a settlement yet.