Owners of about 4.4 million Nissan vehicles with potentially defective Takata air bags are eligible for financial aid in getting their cars fixed and up to $500 in compensation under the terms of a new consumer settlement.
Nissan has agreed to a $98 million class-action settlement with consumers to cover the economic losses they've incurred because of Takata's exploding air bag scandal.
Victims of the defect will receive compensation from a separate fund.
The deal comes after similar agreements between Takata air bag vehicle owners and Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Subaru.
Plaintiffs attorneys said they are still pursuing settlements with Honda and Ford.
Among the possible benefits for current and former owners of the Nissan vehicles:
•Payments of up to $500 apiece.
•Free rental car for use while awaiting repairs.
•Reimbursement of reasonable expenses, including transportation, towing and lost wages or childcare costs, accumulated as a result of the recall.
The funds will also support a program to try to convince Nissan owners to get their vehicles repaired. Only 30% of Nissan vehicle owners had gotten their Takata air bags replaced as of late June.
“This agreement will expand awareness of Takata’s recalls, provide compensation to affected Nissan consumers for their economic losses, and continue to improve drivers’ safety by accelerating the removal of defective airbags from the roads,” said Peter Prieto, court-appointed lead counsel for the plaintiffs, in a statement.
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The deal is the latest in a series of settlements involving Takata's air bag inflator scandal, which is blamed for more than 16 deaths worldwide. The company pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the U.S. and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, facing staggering repair costs and more than $1 billion in penalties.
The company's air bag inflators triggered the largest U.S. recall of all time.
The latest deal is between Nissan and consumers, not involving Takata directly.
Affected Nissan vehicles include the 2001 to 2003 Maxima, 2002 to 2004 Pathfinder, 2002 to 2006 Sentra, 2007 to 2017 Versa Sedan, 2007 to 2012 Versa Hatchback, 2017 Altima and Versa Note; 2013 to 2017 NV 200 and its taxicab version; 2008 to 2018 370Z and 370Z Roadster, 2009 to 2014 Cube, 2010 to 2017 NV, 2012 to 2017 Armada and Titan; 2014 to 2017 Rogue; 2016 and 2017 Maxima; 2017.
Among Infiniti models are the 2018 QX30; 2009 to 2017 QX56/QX80; 2003 to 2008 FX35/45, 2006 to 2010 M35/45, 2002 and 2003 QX4 and 2001 to 2004 I30/I35.