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Honda reaches US$605m settlement over defective airbags
[WASHINGTON] Japanese carmaker Honda reached a US$605 million settlement in a lawsuit over defective airbags in millions of cars on American roads, the legal team for the victims said Friday.
Honda joins Nissan, Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Subaru in agreeing a deal to settle a lawsuit, replace the defective airbags from now-bankrupt Takata, and to compensate car owners.
The latest agreement was filed in the US District Court in Miami.
Peter Prieto, one of the lawyers leading the team going after Takata, said the deal, which still has to be approved by the court, will "improve driver safety by accelerating the removal of defective airbags from our roads".
It also will provide compensation to owners of up to US$500 plus expenses, including rental cars while their vehicles are repaired.
"We will continue prosecuting our claims against Ford and other automobile manufacturers to ensure that our clients receive the relief they deserve," Mr Prieto said in a statement.
Multiple Honda models are affected by the case, including Civic, Accord and CR-V, dating back to 2001.
The airbag defect has been linked to 16 deaths and scores of injuries worldwide, as the safety devices can inflate with excessive force, sending shrapnel from the inflator canister hurtling toward drivers and passengers.
The issue led to the biggest car recall in history of about 100 million vehicles worldwide.
Takata in February pleaded guilty to fraud for hiding the defect, and paid a US$1 billion fine.
The company filed for bankruptcy in June.