— Honda has agreed to settle legal actions brought by multiple states which allege the automaker equipped numerous models with defective Takata airbags.
The $85 million settlement comes after the automaker recalled more than 12 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators at risk of exploding.
Although multiple automakers have been affected by the airbag inflators, more deaths occurred in Honda vehicles than any other car company.
Locations involved in the Honda agreement include:
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Northern Mariana Islands.
At least 14 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in the U.S. when the Takata airbag inflators exploded and sent metal fragments into vehicle occupants.
U.S. Takata recalls have included about 60 million inflators, and worldwide that number jumps to about 100 million inflators in vehicles manufactured by at least 19 automakers.
The states argue Takata may be the main player and problem, but Honda should have known the explosive used to deploy the airbags was volatile. That explosive, ammonium nitrate, can become unstable if exposed to moisture over time.
Honda allegedly held off notifying officials and consumers about the airbags while insisting the inflators were safe.
The states claim Honda's actions were unfair, deceptive and violated consumer protection laws across the country.
According to the settlement, Honda will improve the way it tracks parts and keep records when dealing with suppliers. Honda will also take a more proactive approach to prevent such disasters from occurring in the future.
Honda engineers must be more involved when approving which airbags will be installed in Acura and Honda vehicles. And the automaker must also improve its oversight of all suppliers and make additional improvements in training and performance standards.
Based on terms of the settlements, Honda doesn't acknowledge any wrongdoing and placed the blame on Takata, which pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and filed bankruptcy in 2017.