Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, BMW to Pay $553 Million in Takata Airbag Settlement

The four automakers will dig deep in their pockets.

Takata

The solution for a mass recall on defective Takata airbags is under way, though it seems to be far from over. Collectively, the faulty equipment has cost the company over $1 billion in legal fees and settlements, making for a major financial headache. Now, Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and BMW have all agreed to pay a collective $553 million to former owners and lessees of affected vehicles as part of a class-action lawsuit, potentially setting the stage for other manufacturers to follow suit.

The faulty Takata-made safety equipment in question has caused 11 deaths and 180 injuries. These were caused by sudden explosions of the airbags, leading to harmful explosions containing shrapnel and other dangerous debris. 

Between the four automakers, approximately 15.8 million vehicles were fitted with the Takata airbag systems. Toyota had the highest, with 9.2 million affected cars and trucks; Subaru came next, with 2.6 million; BMW followed, with 2.3 milliom; and Mazda came in at a still-significant 1.7 million vehicles with the systems. Although those are substantial numbers, it's only the beginning of the 42 million cars and trucks suspected to be equipped with such Takata components. 

Toyota's share of the class-action settlement comes to roughly $279 million, while BMW's share comes to $131 million; Mazda's piece sums up to around $76 million, while Subaru's comes to about $68 million. 

This $550+ million settlement does not include personal lawsuits and ongoing trials being held in the state of Florida, further adding onto to the woes of each manufacturer involved. 

Other automakers including Honda, Ford, and Nissan are not included in this settlement, though they are expected to reach a similar agreement sometime in the coming months. 

Though the situation has wreaked havoc on car manufacturers, it's been a much bigger problem for Takata itself. In result of the seemingly never-ending lawsuits and criminal charges including wire fraud, they are seeking an investment from major competitors in addition to the consideration of bankruptcy.