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Honda Settles Multistate Airbag Suit, Agrees to Pay $85 Million

  • A group of 48 AGs, led by an Executive Committee including Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum and New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal, reached a settlement with American Honda Motor Co. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively “Honda”) to resolve allegations that Honda concealed the risk posed by defective frontal airbags installed in its vehicles in violation of consumer protections laws.
  • The Oregon complaint, which was substantially similar to the complaints filed by other states and territories, alleged that Honda failed to inform regulators and consumers that the frontal airbags had a significant risk of rupture that could cause metal debris to fly into the passenger compartment, resulting in injuries and death, even though Honda’s engineers identified significant safety deficiencies with the airbags’ inflators.
  • Honda contemporaneously entered into settlement agreements with the participating states and territories, including a final consent judgment with New Jersey. Under the terms of settlement agreements, Honda will pay over $84.15 million to participating states and $1 million to the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) to be placed in the NAAG Training and Research Institute Endowment Fund. Honda also agreed to include enhanced safety measures in future airbag designs, change its airbag procurement process, implement recurrence prevention procedures to minimize the chance of future injuries, refrain from misleading advertising regarding the safety of its cars, and improve its risk management, quality control, and other critical business functions, among other things.