CARS.COM — Honda has agreed to a $605 million settlement of owner claims of economic losses related to the Takata airbag inflator recalls, and if you own an affected car, you could get up to $500 for diminished value.
Honda’s actual payments in the proposed consumer settlement, which still requires federal district court approval, would total about $484 million over several years. That’s after a 20 percent credit under the deal to fund Honda’s expenses for an enhanced program of loaners and rental cars for owners getting their cars repaired. The plaintiffs’ committee posted the proposed settlement filing here.
Honda has the largest population of cars with Takata inflators involved in the largest auto recall in history, which includes multiple auto manufacturers. Nissan and BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota already have agreed to similar proposed settlements of consumer suits over economic losses, which (as with Honda) are separate from litigation over deaths and injuries involving Takata inflator failures. The inflators can explode with too much force after years of exposure to heat and humidity. Honda has more than 16 million vehicles covered by the recall settlement, according to the plantiffs’ committee, and its vehicles have been involved in all but one of the 13 U.S. fatalities linked to Takata inflator failure.
In addition to the outreach and loaner cars, Honda owners and lessees could get up to $500 apiece after they have the cars repaired as compensation for diminished value of the cars due to defective airbag inflators. The fund also will pay individual owner claims for out-of-pocket expenses to get the cars repaired, including lost wages and childcare costs, as well as spending for alternative transportation.
The program also sets aside about $40 million to pay for a specific outreach program to reach owners of the older Honda vehicles identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as having the most dangerous Takata airbag inflators.
In a statement, Honda said the settlement will support expanding its efforts “to reach and encourage our customers to bring their cars to authorized dealers for the free airbag inflator recall repair.” It emphasized that it has sufficient supplies of repair parts and encouraged owners to check the recall status of their Honda here or Acura vehicle here, or contact a dealer.
The settlement covers owners and lessees of the vehicles after Nov. 11, 2008. The vehicles covered include numerous Honda and Acura vehicles from the 2001 to 2017 model years, as well as 2006-17 GL1800 motorcycles. As of Aug. 4, Honda had completed repairs on about 61 percent of its recalled Takata inflators.