LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The national law firm of Baron & Budd announced today that it helped secure a $1.25 billion settlement in the Takata airbag class action litigation. In 2014, the firm filed the first class action lawsuit against the now bankrupt airbag manufacturer and seven major auto makers for their role in installing dangerous, defective airbags in vehicles and selling them to consumers without disclosing the defect. Separate cases were filed against Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW; and Honda, Nissan and Ford.
Recently, on September 5, the firm sought preliminary approval of settlements with Honda for $605 million and Nissan for $97 million which impacted more than 30 million vehicles. And, on November 1, 2017, the Court granted final approval of a $550 million settlement against Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW which collectively have more than 15 million recalled cars.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a safety recall, which has now expanded to cover more than 40 million cars, trucks and SUVs.
“My hope is that these cases will stand as a firm reminder to the auto industry that there are real consequences for placing short-term profits over consumer and vehicle safety standards,” said Roland Tellis, head of the Consumer Class Action group at the national law firm of Baron & Budd. “On behalf of our entire Consumer Class Action team, I can tell you we are incredibly proud of these settlements, because we think it sends a strong message about consumer and vehicle safety. Compensation can never recoup loss of life or other tragic outcomes that resulted from the Takata failures, but it helps consumers deal with the out-of-pocket expenses and inconvenience that resulted from the defective airbags that affected more than 40 million vehicle owners.”
Millions of Takata airbags were found to be defective, after it was discovered that a design flaw caused the metal canister housing in the airbag to violently rupture during an accident. When a rupture occurred, metal pieces were projected into vehicle occupants, causing more than a dozen deaths and resulting in the largest consumer product recall in U.S. history. The class action cases alleged that in addition to installing defective airbags into millions of vehicles, Takata and the automakers concealed the defect from consumers in hopes of saving millions of dollars in recall costs.
Baron & Budd’s involvement in the litigation is led from the firm's offices in Los Angeles. In addition to Tellis, Baron & Budd attorneys Mark Pifko and David Fernandes were instrumental team members who helped to secure these settlements.
The settlements are designed to provide direct compensation to consumers and reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs incurred by consumers in dealing with the airbag recalls. The settlements also allocate funding to pay for free rental cars for owners of certain high-priority vehicles – classified as older vehicles driven in high humidity areas – who are waiting for a replacement airbag. The settlements also provide owners with a free extended warranty on the replacement airbags and will fund a state-of-the-art multi-media outreach program designed to reach class members and publicize the fact that the airbags are defective and should be replaced promptly.
Baron & Budd is continuing to actively pursue litigation with Ford related to defective Takata airbags.
ABOUT BARON & BUDD, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Austin, Los Angeles and San Diego, is a nationally recognized law firm with a nearly 40-year history of "Protecting What's Right" for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd's size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals and government and business entities in areas as diverse as dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, environmental contamination, the Gulf oil spill, financial fraud, overtime violations, deceptive advertising, automotive defects, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.