Am I eligible to receive a Takata settlement check?
In February, airbag manufacturer Takata Corp. agreed to pay $650 million to settle consumer protection claims brought by 44 states and Washington, D.C. Embroiled Takata is expected to pay just a fraction of this amount because the company has serious financial issues following the massive recall and has filed for bankruptcy. New Mexico and Hawaii achieved a $7 million settlement, to be shared additionally with the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, most states have announced they will not collect the funds in order to leave more money available to consumers.
The Takata Airbag Disaster
Takata, once a major auto parts manufacturer, is now a company in ruin due to its production of dangerously faulty airbags. Takata airbag inflators have been found to explode under certain conditions, including high heat and humidity. When they explode, the airbag ejects shrapnel at high rates of speed. At least 22 people died worldwide due to the defective airbags and more than 180 were injured.
Evidence emerged following the explosions that suggests Takata knew of the safety issues and intentionally failed to disclose them. The company was hit with several millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits, forcing it to file for bankruptcy. A reorganization plan was recently approved by the bankruptcy court.
Additionally, as part of a criminal plea agreement, Takata agreed to pay victims of its airbags $125 million and $850 million in restitution to automakers. In the Virgin Islands, owners of older vehicles impacted by the Takata airbag recall can receive $200 checks from the Department of Justice. Other states who received a settlement may soon start disbursing3ww funds to consumers.
For the family members of those injured or killed by a faulty Takata airbag, no amount of money can bring true justice. However, Takata will be forced to attempt to make its victims whole. Anyone injured due to a Takata airbag explosion may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you have not yet checked to see whether your vehicle has a Takata airbag affected by the recalls, now is the time. Takata airbags are unstable and deemed dangerous, especially for those living in warm climates. Contact your vehicle manufacturer for more information. If you have been injured by a defective airbag, contact a personal injury attorney today.
Posted in: Automobile Accidents