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The United States Justice Department takes a dim view of defective products that kill and injure consumers. Apparently, the civil court system does as well.
A recent news report said BMW, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Mazda have assented to settle a class action lawsuit that alleges the automakers caused customers economic losses related to the allegedly defective Takata airbag. The class action settlement answers the allegations made by the primary plaintiffs that the automakers listed in the class action lawsuit constructed and sold vehicles that included Takata airbags. According to class counsel, the airbags contained faulty deflators that when opened, ruptured the airbags and shot debris throughout the interior of the vehicles.
The United States Department of Justice reached a settlement with Takata that requires the company to pay up to $1 billion in fines because of negligence. Each of the automakers listed in the class action lawsuit recalled millions of vehicles that deployed flawed Takata airbags. The Department of Justice issued a press release that said the Takata designed airbags caused at least 10 fatalities and more than 100 serious injuries to drivers throughout the world.
Each of the defendants continues to deny the allegations, but the companies agreed to the class action settlement to avoid the high costs of protracted litigation.
What You Need To Know
Class counsel has stated that eligible class members “include anyone who owned or leased any of the subject vehicles in the United States as of June 9, 2017, and anyone who formerly owned and/or leased the subject vehicles and who sold or returned the subject vehicles between April 11, 2013 and June 9, 2017.” Eligible class members have until September 25, 2017 to opt out of the class action settlement or contest any provision in the agreement. Potential awards coming out of the class action lawsuit go beyond customary just compensation, such as participation in an outreach program and a rental car loaner program.
The deadline to submit a valid claim form has yet to be determined. Deadline for submission of a claim form will be one year from the date the Takata class action settlement receives final approval. The judge ruling over the case In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:15-md-02599-FAM, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has scheduled the final hearing on October 25, 2017. Learn what transpired at the final hearing, as well as the deadline to submit a valid claim form, by visiting the class action settlement website www.AutoAirbagSettlement.com. The class action settlement website also lists the attorneys who represent the class and defense counsels. Each of the automakers listed in the class action lawsuit has retained a different law firm for defense counsel.