Ford Motor Co. has agreed to pay $299.1 million to settle consumer economic-loss claims linked to faulty air bags manufactured by Takata Corp., Bloomberg and Reuters first reported.
The settlement, which was filed in federal court on July 16 in Miami, covers diverse forms of economic damages linked to Takata air-bag inflators and reimburses consumers for out-of-pocket expenses.
The settlement also provides free loaner vehicles for owners or lessees of Ford vehicles who are presently waiting for their air bags to be repaired or replaced, notes the report. Under the settlement, Ford has agreed to increase outreach efforts to locate consumers whose vehicles contain the defective air bags.
"Safety is our priority," Elizabeth Weigandt, a Ford spokeswoman, told Automotive Fleet. "We remain focused on working with our customers to get their vehicles repaired. Parts are available for all of the Ford vehicles in priority groups one through three, and we urge customers to contact their dealer immediately for free repairs."
The settlement will cover an estimated 6 million vehicles and requires court approval. It was not immediately clear whether fleet vehicles would be included in the agreement.
Ford's settlement follows a $533 million settlement agreement in 2017 by Toyota Motor Corp, Subaru Corp, Mazda Motor Corp, and BMW AG as well as a separate settlement by Nissan Motor Co. for $98 million, according to the Bloomberg report.
The Takata air bag recall is the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history, encompassing approximately 19 vehicle manufacturers, 37 million U.S. vehicles, and about 50 million airbags, according to the National Highway Traffics Safety Administration. More than 20 deaths across the globe are linked to the rupturing of the Takata airbags.