4 Automakers Settle Takata Airbag Suit. That Could Mean Up to $500 for You

4 Automakers Settle Takata Airbag Suit. That Could Mean Up to $500 for You
A visitor walks past a Takata Corp. display at an automaker's showroom in Tokyo, June 29, 2016. Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

It’s been a long time coming.

More than eight years have passed since the first vehicles were recalled due to exploding Takata airbags. But soon, nearly 16 million vehicle owners could finally get compensation.

The Takata Airbag Settlement is Worth Millions

On May 18, plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed a $553 million settlement agreement with four of the automakers that used the defective airbags.

The airbags were reportedly rupturing, sending dangerous material into vehicle cabins, harming passengers.

To date, at least 16 deaths, 11 of which were in the U.S., have been linked to the defect. Automakers have recalled and repaired more than 14 million vehicles, but plaintiffs argue the the companies have worked at a slow place, endangering those who are still driving the affected vehicles.

In January, Takata agreed to pay $1 billion for concealing its faulty airbags and submitting false tests to automakers. Three of its executives were also criminally charged with wire fraud and conspiracy stemming from the alleged cover-up and fake tests.

According to NPR, here’s how many vehicles are covered in the settlement and how much the automakers will pay if a judge approves the settlement:

  • 9.2 million Toyota vehicles: $278.5 million
  • 2.3 million BMW vehicles: $131 million
  • 2.6 million Subaru vehicles: $68,262,257
  • 1.7 million Mazda vehicles: $75,805,050

Ford, Honda and Nissan are also named in the suit, but they have not yet settled.

The settlement compensates those who own or lease the affected vehicles. Those whose vehicles are included in the suit could receive financial assistance to fix their vehicles, free rental cars while they wait for repairs and up to a $500 payment.

USA Today reports that those who have been injured by the exploding airbags are eligible for compensation under a separate fund.

The settlement will also create an outreach program for those who still drive affected vehicles. The program will work to get them repaired as quickly as possible.

More than 42 million vehicles worldwide have the potentially defective airbags. For a full list of vehicles involved in the recall, head to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

The website also lays out the steps you need to take to get your vehicle fixed.

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.