Honda agrees to pay $85M to settle probe over potentially defective Takata airbag inflators

According to a consent order, Honda Motor Co has agreed to a settlement of $85 million following an investigation by most U.S. states into its use of defective Takata airbag inflators in its vehicles.

The investigation by most U.S. states are connected with the ongoing recalls of tens of millions of vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata inflators that were sold by Honda and other major auto manufacturers over the past 20 years.

More than 40 million U.S. vehicles equipped with 60 million defective Takata air bags have been recalled to date since, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these inflators can explode when deployed causing deaths, if not serious injuries.

At least 25 deaths have been linked to these defective Takata inflators around the world as well as nearly 300 injuries.

Worldwide, the Takata recalls cover about 100 million inflators among 19 major automakers, including Honda.

Earlier this year in January, Honda said it would recall an additional 2.7 million U.S. vehicles in North America for potentially defective Takata inflators. That recall covers Honda and Acura automobiles from the 1996 through 2003 model years.

As part of the settlement, American Honda Motor Co and Honda of America have agreed to upgrade their product safety procedures related to frontal airbags, including reducing the risk of rupturing the inflators.

Honda affiliates have agreed to the consent order without admitting wrongdoing and avoid the cost of further litigation, said the automaker.

Court approval is however required.

Honda has confirmed that it had reached civil settlements with 46 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and three U.S. territories over the probe.

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