Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Ms. Gets $1.2 Million of Honda Settlement

Attorney General Lynn Fitch issued the following statement. 

Attorney General Lynn Fitch today announced a more than $85-million multistate settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively “Honda”) over allegations Honda concealed safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States. The systems were designed and manufactured by Takata Corporation, a long-time Honda supplier, and were first installed in Honda vehicles in the 2001 model year.


The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 48 states, territories, and the District of Columbia and Honda, concludes a multistate investigation into Honda’s alleged failure to inform regulators and consumers that the frontal airbags posed a significant risk of rupture, which could cause metal fragments to fly into the passenger compartments of many Honda and Acura vehicles. The ruptures have resulted in at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone.

“We cannot allow companies to engage in unfair and deceptive business practices that can potentially hurt Mississippians,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “Today’s settlement makes clear that we will hold companies accountable and require fairness and integrity when dealing with consumers in Mississippi.”

As part of the settlement, Honda agreed to pay the participating states a total of $85,151,210.15, of which Mississippi’s share is $1,225,099.33.

The states have alleged that Honda engineers suspected that the airbags’ propellant, ammonium nitrate, could burn aggressively and cause the inflator to burst. Despite these concerns, Honda delayed warning consumers or automobile safety officials, even as it began partial recalls of affected vehicles in 2008 and 2009. Further, Honda continued to represent to consumers that its vehicles, including its airbags, were safe. Since 2008, Honda has recalled approximately 12.9 million Honda and Acura vehicles equipped with the suspect inflators.

The states have alleged that Honda’s actions, or perhaps more accurately its failures to act, as well as its misrepresentations about the safety of its vehicles, were unfair and deceptive, and that Honda’s conduct violated state consumer protection laws, including the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.

Under the terms of the consent judgment, which will be filed with the Hinds County Chancery Court, Honda has agreed to strong injunctive relief, which, among other things, requires it:

  • To take steps to ensure that future airbag designs include “fail-safe” features to protect passengers in the event the inflator ruptures;·        
  • To adopt changes to its procurement process for new frontal airbags, to ensure that its suppliers have the appropriate industry certifications and satisfy key industry performance standards, as well as improve record-keeping and parts tracking;
  • To implement recurrence prevention procedures designed to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again, such as requiring that Honda approve all new frontal airbag designs before the company will consider them for use in new Honda vehicles;·       
  • To abide by prohibitions on misleading advertisements and point of sale representations regarding the safety of Honda’s vehicles, including the airbags; and·        
  • To make improvements in critical areas such as risk management, quality control, supplier oversight, training and certifications, and implementing mandatory whistleblower protections.
In addition to Mississippi, the multistate group – led by South Carolina, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, and Texas – includes Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Consumers who own a Honda or Acura vehicle are strongly encouraged to visit Honda’s airbag recall website at https://hondaairbaginfo.com/, or call its Customer Service toll-free number at (888) 234-2138, to see if their vehicle is subject to a recall. Consumers may also check for open recalls by going to Safercar.gov. All safety recall repairs are FREE at authorized Honda dealers. Mississippi consumers can also contact the Attorney General’s office at 800-281-4418 with any questions about this settlement.


18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now we can cure Covid.

Anonymous said...

And, as with tobacco, none of those harmed get compensated save the few first complainants?

What a deal and disincentive for change for Honda.

Anonymous said...

I've got two affected vehicles and had a third that has since been sold. All I got out of the recall was the airbags replaced. Where should I tell Ms. Fitch to send my part of the cash settlement, or is this just a cash grab by the states?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Good job. That is about 40 CENTS for each Mississippi resident. Now tell us, who were the lawyers outside of her hires who really made money, and how much???

Anonymous said...

2:14. Can't tell you that. Some are still in the area and don't want folks like us coming by unannounced, ya know.

Anonymous said...

Since I as a Mississippi citizen am a part of this nuisance law suit, please make “Full Disclosure” of all of Mississippi’s expenses and recoveries including attorney fees. This reminds me of a class action law suit that I was automatically a part of against Royal American cruise line. It went on for years, but I eventually as part of the “class” was declared a winner. My share was a $5 dollar “discount” off of my next Cruise.

Anonymous said...

I have exclusively owned over a dozen VTECH Civics since I was 16 years old. I expect a hefty share!

Anonymous said...

That money is going towards redecoration of office space.

Anonymous said...

She didn't even know the lawsuit existed until the other AG's settled it.

Anonymous said...

So should Honda get to keep the money because they caused “too little” harm to each Honda buyer?

If you think a company should be able to harm millions of people a tiny bit and get away with it....I guess that’s your call.

I think extracting financial damages from wrong doers is a better method.

Anonymous said...

This suit was filed when she was still walking the halls at Employment Security trying to learn the agency's function. Now she's coming out with a "We will not tolerate this type of wrongdoing" statement.

Anonymous said...

DEAL!

Anonymous said...

In the majority of cases, class action suits onlyreally benefit the plaintiff's law firm. You can't believe how much they run up the meter to pad the bill which is ultimately approved by the court. The more the bill is padded, the less the class members receive.

There are exceptions: I once received a check for $850 in an action against a credit card company for fees charged in foreign purchases. That was chump change compared to what the plaintiff's attorneys received.

Anonymous said...

Wonder when we will have a class action lawsuit over the Ford 5.4 and 6.0 motors.

Anonymous said...

204 - how were you harmed that entitles you to cash payment? You say the airbags were replaced. Did they ever deploy when they should not have? Or not deploy when they should have?

What is it that makes you think you are entitled to cash other than being part of the entitlement generation?

Anonymous said...

Money should go into a trust for airbag research or some such. Why should state governments make money off this. Remember how the legislature spent the hundreds of millions in tobacco money. It was supposed to be used to fight tobacco use and other anti tobacco programs.

Anonymous said...

12:38 PM - taxes will be reduced an equal amount.


(I still have that bridge for sale.)

Anonymous said...

The state will sue anyone for any number of reasons, but when the state is negligent, they hide behind a immunity clause.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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