Honda has recently agreed to an $85 million settlement regarding allegations of safety defects in the frontal airbags of certain vehicles. The settlement will be paid out to 48 states and territories, including South Dakota.
The multi-state action against American Honda Motor Co. Inc. and Honda of America Mfg. Inc. came after a multi-state investigation into allegations that defective airbags cost at least 14 people their lives and inflicted injuries on more than 200 others throughout the United States. Investigators alleged that Honda purposefully failed to inform either government regulators or consumers of the risk.
The defective airbags, which were prone to ruptures that could send metal fragments hurtling through a vehicle’s interior, were first used in 2001 Hondas. They were designed and produced by Takata Corporation — one of Honda’s regular suppliers. Investigators say that the company’s engineers delayed issuing warnings and continued to insist its airbags were safe even after the company began partial recalls of the affected vehicles back in 2008. Since that time, more than 12.9 million Hondas and Acuras have been recalled.
The current agreement is an addition to a 2017 agreement in which Takata agreed to pay $605 million to reimburse consumers. Takata also has a separate personal injury fund that is being used to pay consumer claims involving injuries or wrongful death.
When a loved one dies because of a company’s negligence or willful deception in the name of greed, sometimes the only measure of justice you can obtain for your loved one is through a wrongful death action. Cases like this are a reminder that no corporation — no matter how big — is immune to the law. If you think that your loved one’s death could have been prevented with more responsible actions and reasonable care, talk to an attorney today.