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Nissan agrees to $98 million settlement on Takata economic loss claims

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) - Motor Co <7201.T> on Tuesday agreed to pay $97.7 million to settle class-action claims of consumer economic loss in the United States tied to the recall of 4.4 million vehicles with air bag inflators, records show.

said in a statement that it was not admitting fault under the settlement.

The settlement is similar to others reached with major automakers. In June, a federal judge in Miami granted preliminary approval to settlements with Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>, Subaru Corp <7270.T>, BMW AG and Mazda Motor Corp <7261.T> totalling $553 million and affecting 15.8 million vehicles with inflators.

At least 18 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide have been tied to the defect that led Corp to file for bankruptcy protection in June. inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.

Honda Motor Co <7267.T> and Ford Motor Co to date have not agreed to settle consumer economic loss claims.

All the settlements reached so far include an outreach program to contact owners of recalled vehicles and to address the low number of completed repairs, as well as compensation for economic losses including out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500; rental cars for some owners; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.

said its settlement is "intended to significantly increase customer outreach and to accelerate recall remedy completion rates for airbag inflator recalls."

As of late June, only 29.9 percent of vehicles recalled with inflators had been fixed.

The settlement is subject to approval. A hearing to grant final approval for the other four automaker settlements is set for Oct. 25.

In January, agreed to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing and to pay $1 billion to resolve a U.S. federal investigation into its inflators.

As part of the Justice Department settlement, agreed to establish two independently administered restitution funds: one for $850 million to compensate automakers for recalls and a $125 million fund for individuals injured by its airbags who had not already reached a settlement.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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First Published: Wed, August 09 2017. 02:14 IST