Honda To Pay $484M To Reimburse Some Drivers For Takata Airbag Recall Costs

Image courtesy of Jacki Vance-Kuss

Honda must pay more than $484 million to resolve customers’ financial losses related to vehicles equipped with shrapnel-shooting airbags from Takata and step up its efforts to ensure the dangerous safety devices are repaired.

The settlement, which must still be approved by a judge, resolves owners’ claims of economic damages suffered as a result of the massive and deadly airbag recall.

According to the settlement, Honda would pay $605 million to resolve customers’ claims. However, The Wall Street Journal notes that the company is receiving a 20% discount on the cost as consideration for its current recall efforts.

Reimbursements

Under the deal, the company will create a fund to provide reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred while car owners waited for the repair of their vehicles, including lost wages, child care costs, and rentals.

While the specific value of this fund was not released, lawyers for the owners say Honda will pay up to $500 to each individual and provide extended warranties on the vehicles.

“This fund will further supplement our already robust actions to repair every car on the road affected by the recall and assure the safety of drivers and passengers,” the carmaker said.

Ramping Up Repairs

Honda notes on its website that there is now an ample supply of replacement airbag inflators readily available for all of the remaining affected vehicles.

In addition to reimbursing customers, Honda will create a $200 million fund to expand Takata airbag inflator recall efforts.

This, the company notes, will include improving outreach to owners of affected vehicles, such as those who have not yet been located or have not responded to recall notices.

Owners of recalled Honda and Acura vehicles should immediately schedule a repair at authorized Acura and Honda dealers.

While waiting for the repairs to be finished, Honda says it will now provide all owners and lessees with a free rental or loaner vehicles until the remedy is complete.

Affected Vehicles

Honda, the largest customer of Takata, has been the most affected by the massive recall in which more than 46 million airbag inflators were recalled.

The company’s vehicles have been linked to 11 Takata-related deaths in the U.S. The only other vehicle linked to a death in the U.S. was the Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Owners of Honda and Acura vehicles can check to see if their automobiles are included by entering their 17 digit VIN on the SaferCar.gov website, which produces a list of all recalls associated with a particular vehicle.

Vehicle owners can also check their vehicles’ recall status at http://www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or http://www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners or by calling their authorized dealer.