The fallout from Ford’s Takata airbag scandal continues to plague the automaker. In July, Ford agreed to a settlement of almost $300 million in a class action lawsuit brought against the auto manufacturer. The settlement is intended to cover economic losses suffered by those who owned or leased affected vehicles. The settlement includes a reimbursement program as well as a customer support program to address damage from defective airbags, but uncertainty remains about whether customers will receive the full range of benefits described in the settlement.
The lawsuit involved numerous Ford vehicle models including Edge, Fusion, Mustang, Ranger, and various Lincoln and Mercury models. Most of the vehicles were manufactured between 2005 and 2015. The plaintiffs alleged that faulty Takata airbags increased their risk of injury or death even in low impact collisions. In settling the class action lawsuit that dates back to 2015, Ford denied all liability and maintained that its decision to settle was purely financial and logistical. Two of the deaths linked to the explosion of Takata airbags took place in Ford Ranger trucks.
The settlement program contains a few components and will occur over a period of at least four years. A reimbursement plan will reimburse certain customers for reasonable expenses. The reimbursement is intended to cover items such as rental car expenses while the customer’s car is being repaired, towing expenses for cars that require repair, childcare costs during the time the defective airbags are being serviced, and reasonable lost wages for time spent away from work. The program also entails a customer support program to pay for repairs for damages that were incurred after the Takata airbags exploded.
In addition, the settlement also implements an “outreach program” to urge customers to have repairs performed on their airbags. The outreach program is designed to educate customers about the importance of addressing unrepaired safety recalls and also provide incentives to those who have not yet repaired their vehicles.
Ford was also ordered to implement a rental/loaner car program. As part of the terms of the settlement, Ford is expected to be credited $59.8 million off the settlement for offering rental vehicles to owners or lessees who come to dealerships for a Takata airbag recall repair.
A few potential roadblocks remain. The settlement must be approved and finalized by the court before it is implemented. In addition, it is still not certain whether affected drivers will appeal the settlement in the hopes of obtaining better terms.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.