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Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Honda owners could get up to $500 in air bag settlement

A Honda technician works on an airbag during a free airbag replacement event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Nov. 20, 2016. (Associated Press)
A Honda technician works on an airbag during a free airbag replacement event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Nov. 20, 2016. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

DETROIT – Honda and some of the people suing the company over faulty Takata air bag inflators have agreed to a $605 million settlement.

The settlement, which still must be approved by a federal judge, covers owners of 16.5 million Honda and Acura vehicles with the inflators dating back to 2001. They could get up to $500.

Under the deal, Honda gets credit for spending $121 million on rental cars for customers who had to wait for parts. That leaves $484 million. Of that, Honda will spend as much as $199 million over four years finding owners with unrepaired cars and encouraging them to get the inflators replaced.

The rest goes to attorney fees and to reimburse owners for expenses such as rental cars and lost wages. Owners will have to apply to a court-appointed administrator to get money. They also can make claims that their cars dropped in value. If money is left after other expenses, owners could the $500.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel. At least 19 people have been killed worldwide because of the problem, which touched off the largest auto recall in U.S. history involving up to 69 million inflators.

Honda expects customers will get over $80 million. The company said it agreed not to contest an application by plaintiffs’ attorneys for fees of up to 30 percent of the settlement, for a total of $181.5 million.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in Miami will make the final decision on where the money will go.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers already have settled with Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Nissan and are pursuing claims against other automakers.

The settlement doesn’t cover injury or death claims.

Information on how to apply for settlement money can be obtained at www.autoairbagsettlement.com .

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