Nissan Motor Co. has agreed to pay nearly $98 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by car owners who claim defective Takata airbags diminished the value of their vehicles.
The $97.7 million economic-loss complaint covers about 4.4 million Nissan vehicles in the U.S. It follows similar settlements between car owners and BMW AG, Mazda Motor Corp, Toyota Motor Corp, and Subaru Corp, which arrived at settlements totaling $553 million.
A federal judge in Miami granted preliminary approval to those agreements in June and a final approval date has been set for Oct. 25. The agreements cover nearly 16 million vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbags. Honda Motor Co and Ford Motor Co also face class-actions alleging Takata airbags lowered vehicles value, but those claims have not been settled.
According to Reuters, all the settlements reached so far, including the Nissan settlement, “include an outreach program to contact owners of recalled vehicles and to address 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, which has had a low repair rate under its Takata recalls, said it settled the case “to significantly increase customer outreach and to accelerate recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflator recalls.”
Less than 30 percent of Nissan vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags have been returned for repairs, according to Reuters.
There have been 11 confirmed deaths in the U.S. linked to Takata airbags, which are hypersensitive and may explode with lethal force. Two additional recent deaths in the U.S. are believed to be caused by Takata airbags, but those cases are not yet confirmed. There have been at least seven more Takata deaths worldwide and an additional 180 injuries.