The aftermath of the Takata airbag recall still largely resounds in the automotive industry, as big automotive companies like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota were extensively hit with what is considered as the largest single automotive recall of all time. The said 4 companies have had to make a settlement worth whopping $553 million with the United States government. Now that hurt a lot.
Current owners of around 16 million affected vehicles equipped with the faulty Takata air bags are candidates for financial aid in getting their vehicles checked out and fixed, with up to $500 in compensation as part of new consumer settlements that involve various automakers. BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota have provided a collective statement on this unfortunate situation, explaining that the said settlement would allow a series of programs to raise recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflators, including other customer benefits.
Included in this plan is an outreach program that will aid the speed of the recall and repair process, supervised through traditional and non-traditional means. For example, a rental car will serve as loaner vehicles to afflicted customers when requested, or during instances when parts for the recall are not available within 30 days. In addition, afflicted customers will be able to demand reimbursement for "appropriate out of pocket expenses that is due directly to the Takata airbag inflator recalls under out of pocket claims and the remaining distribution program.
In the same situation, fees and an admin program will be used in covering different fees, legal and others incurred in the suit and these settlements. Furthermore, each car manufacturer will also offer a customer support program to further aid in repairs and adjustments that are recommended to correctly fix the inflator issues in affected airbag modules. The said programs will apply to manufacturer automobiles that have been recalled as well as those that may be affected by recalls in the near future.
The 4 powerhouse car manufacturer also said in their joint statement that they deny any liability or admission of guilt for the airbag flaw. For now, the Takata airbag recall has impacted 42 million vehicles in the United States alone, directly affecting 19 automakers in the process. The Japanese company that manufactured the faulty airbag has already pled guilty to criminal charges in January and has been slapped with a $1 billion fine.
Only recently, it was reported that the Japanese company is now contemplating on filing for bankruptcy. If in case you are wondering why this recall is more significant than most, it’s because the flawed inflators in the airbags can discharge shrapnel at deadly velocities. The said defect has been linked to an estimated 16 deaths and nearly 200 injuries globally.