Volkswagen Inks $42 Million Settlement Over 1.35 Million Cars with Takata Airbag Issue

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The settlement marks the latest closure to cases by major automakers and at this point it appears the majority of the funding will go toward ramping up recall completion rates.

At this writing, seven other major automakers have already agreed to settlements that total some $1.5 billion USD and cover tens of millions of vehicles.

The defect led to, “in rare instances,” airbags inflators rupturing and throwing out metal fragments into the interior of a vehicle, and that defect led to the single biggest automotive recall in history. At least 19 U.S. deaths have been tied to faulty Takata airbag inflators, and Honda recently confirmed in April that a U.S. death resulting from a faulty and ruptured Takata airbag inflator was the 19th since 2009. Sixteen of those deaths occurred in Honda vehicles, and the Japanese automaker has already reached a settlement worth $605 million with owners which is very like this Volkswagen settlement.

Authorities say more than 400 injuries have been directly attributed to the faulty Takata inflators, as are at least 28 deaths worldwide in total.

The Takata failures have resulted in a pair of U.S. Takata deaths in Ford Motor Co. vehicles, and a single death tied to the inflators in a BMW.

Ford has already inked a $299 million civil settlement with owners and BMW agreed to pay affected owners a total of $131 million.

Takata recalled some 100 million inflators sent to 19 major automakers worldwide. Of those defective inflators, 67 million were sent to the United States.

This Volkswagen settlement covers rental car and out-of-pocket costs, includes money for lost wages and childcare costs and other costs owners were forced to bear while their vehicles were being repaired.

Documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Miami said some 35% of the inflators in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles covered by the recall are yet to be repaired.

Automakers such as GM, Daimler AG and Stellantis have also not immediately offered any comment on this latest settlement.

Source: Reuters