Ford Motor Co has agreed to pay $299.1 million in settlement for the faulty Takata air bag inflators. The settlement relates to nearly six million vehicles which were affected by the faulty air bags. The settlement covers several forms of economic damages linked to the inflators, including claims that vehicles were inaccurately represented to be safe, buyers had overpaid for cars with defective or substandard air bags and faced out of pocket costs to deal with recalls. Six automakers have previously agreed to similar settlements worth over $1.2 billion combined, including: Honda Motor Co; Toyota Motor Corp; Nissan Motor Co; Mazda Motor Corp; Subaru Corp and BMW AG. At least 23 deaths worldwide are linked to the rupturing of faulty Takata air bag inflators. The issue has sparked the largest auto industry safety recall in history, involving about 100 million inflators among 19 major automakers. More than 290 injuries worldwide are also linked to Takata inflators that can explode, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.
To date, 21 deaths have been reported in Honda vehicles and two in Ford vehicles. The settlement also covers out-of-pocket costs, including lost wages and child care costs, Ford owners may face, or already incurred, to get vehicles repaired. Under the settlement, Ford will also provide free rental or loaner vehicles to owners of recalled vehicles who are awaiting repairs when parts are not available. Nearly 30 million U.S. vehicles remain unrepaired in the recall.
Takata last year pleaded guilty to a felony charge of wire fraud to resolve a U.S. Justice Department investigation and agreed to a $1 billion settlement.