September 6, 2018—A Florida federal judge granted preliminary approval on Wednesday to a $299.1 million deal for Ford Motor Co. to exit multidistrict litigation over defective Takata Corp. air bags and hasten the removal of dangerous air bag inflators from 6 million affected vehicles, reported Law360.
U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno said the agreement, which mirrors previous settlements with automakers in the sprawling case, appeared to meet the necessary requirements. He set a Dec. 11 fairness hearing ahead of determining final approval, according to the report.
Under the terms of the deal, Ford will inform affected consumers about the recall of cars with the defective air bags using a state-of-the-art outreach program that regularly contacts class members through direct mail, phone calls, email, internet ads, social media and in-person canvassing, according to the plaintiffs.
The settlement will also provide compensation to consumers for their losses resulting from the recall, including the reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses or up to a $500 payment for those who did not document their out-of-pocket expenses. Ford will also provide rental cars for class members while they wait for their recall repairs.
According to Law360, Ford will make a total payment of $299.1 million minus a 20 percent credit for the rental car/loaner program, the order said. The payment will cover all attorneys' fees and costs, service awards to class representatives and costs for class notice and settlement administration. The deal covers vehicle owners' economic loss claims, but the company will remain a defendant to automotive recyclers' claims in the multidistrict litigation, which the court severed.