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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  1. What is the lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit alleges Mazda manufactured, distributed, or sold certain vehicles containing allegedly defective inflators manufactured by Takata Corporation and TK Holdings, Inc. that allegedly could, upon deployment, rupture and expel debris or shrapnel into the occupant compartment and/or otherwise affect the airbag’s deployment, and that the Plaintiffs sustained economic losses as a result.

    The lawsuit pursues claims for violations of various state consumer protection statutes, among other claims. Mazda denies that it has violated any law, denies liability, and denies that it engaged in any wrongdoing with respect to the manufacture, distribution, or sale of the Subject Vehicles.

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  2. What are the Subject Vehicles included in the Mazda Settlement?

    A comprehensive list of the “Subject Vehicles” is available for viewing here.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All of these people together are the “Class” or “Class Members” if the Court approves this procedure. Once approved, the Court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

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  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    Both sides in the lawsuit agreed to a settlement in order to increase recall completion rates and to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation, with the goal of enhanced customer satisfaction. As a result of the Settlement, the Class Members can get the benefits of the Settlement and in exchange, Mazda received a release from liability. The Settlement does not mean that Mazda broke any laws or did anything wrong. Furthermore, the Court did not decide which side was right.

    The Mazda Settlement has been filed for preliminarily approval with the Court, which will authorize the issuance of the Notice. The Class Representatives/Named Plaintiffs and the lawyers representing them (called “Settlement Class Counsel”) believe that the Mazda Settlement is in the best interests of all Class Members.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Mazda Settlement?

    You are part of the Mazda Settlement if you are:

    1. A current owner or lessee of a Subject Vehicle distributed for sale or lease in the United States and all of its territories and possessions, as of June 9, 2017, or
    2. A former owner or lessee of a Subject Vehicle distributed for sale or lease in the United States and all of its territories and possessions, who sold or returned, pursuant to a lease, a Subject Vehicle after April 11, 2013, and through June 9, 2017.

    The Mazda Settlement does not relate to claims for personal injury or property damage to any property other than the Subject Vehicles.

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  6. Is anyone excluded from the Mazda Settlement?

    Yes.

    The following entities and individuals are excluded from the Class:

    • Mazda, its officers, directors, employees, and outside counsel; its affiliates and affiliates’ officers, directors, and employees; and Mazda’s dealers and their officers and directors;
    • Settlement Class Counsel, Plaintiffs’ counsel, and their employees;
    • Judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case;
    • Automotive Recyclers and their outside counsel and employees; and
    • Persons who or entities which timely and properly exclude themselves from (opt out of) the Class.

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  7. I’m still not sure if I’m included in the Mazda Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you may review important documents regarding the Mazda Settlement on the Documents section of the website or you may contact the Settlement Notice Administrator, toll-free, at 1-888-735-5596.

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  8. Who is the Settlement Special Administrator? What is their role in the Mazda Settlement?

    The Court has directed Patrick A. Juneau of Juneau David APLC to act as the Settlement Special Administrator. Their role in the Mazda Settlement is to oversee and administer the Settlement Fund.

    More information is available in the Court Order Appointing Patrick A. Juneau as Settlement Special Administrator here.

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Settlement Benefits

  1. What does the Mazda Settlement provide?

    If you are a Class Member, what you are eligible to receive depends on several factors. The Settlement benefits are outlined generally below, and more information can be found in the Mazda Settlement Agreement or you may contact the Settlement Notice Administrator, toll-free, at 1-888-735-5596.

    The proposed settlement benefits include, among other components:

    1. An Outreach Program;
    2. A Rental Car/Loaner Program;
    3. An Out-of-Pocket Claims Process;
    4. A Customer Support Program; and
    5. A potential Residual Distribution.

    For additional details on the separate benefits from the Settlement, please click here to download the Settlement Agreement.

    Some components of the Settlement may be implemented right away, if Mazda decides to do so. However, except for the initial implementation of the Outreach Program and Rental Car/Loaner Program, benefits do not have to be provided unless and until the Court finally approves the Settlement and only after any appeal period expires or any appeals are resolved in favor of the Settlement.

    It is uncertain when the Court will finally approve the Settlement, if it does so, or whether there will be any appeals that would have to be resolved in favor of the Settlement, before certain benefits will be provided. Please check the Mazda Settlement website regularly for updates regarding the Settlement.

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  2. How do I get a payment from the Mazda Settlement?

    If you still own or lease a Subject Vehicle, to be eligible for a payment from the Out-of-Pocket Claims Process or Residual Distribution from the Mazda Settlement Fund you must bring your vehicle to a dealership for the Takata Airbag Recall Remedy, if you have not already done so. If you sold or returned, pursuant to a lease, a Subject Vehicle after April 11, 2013, and before June 9, 2017, you may also submit a claim for a payment.

    To receive a payment, you must either (1) file a Registration/Claim for reimbursement of the reasonable expenses you incurred related to the Takata Airbag Recall, or (2) file a Registration/Claim for a Residual Distribution of up to $250.

    Please Note: If the total amount of reimbursed Out-of-Pocket Claims in a program year equals or exceeds the amount of money in the Mazda Settlement Fund for that program year, Class Members who filed a Registration/Claim for a Residual Distribution will not receive a Mazda Settlement Payment in that program year, although they will still receive other settlement benefits.

    At the end of the four-year Settlement Program, if sufficient funds remain in the Mazda Settlement Fund and it is administratively feasible, the remaining funds will be paid to all Class Members who filed a Registration/Claim for a Settlement Payment, up to a maximum of an additional $250 per Class Member.

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  3. What am I giving up in exchange for the Mazda Settlement benefits?

    If the Settlement becomes final, Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the Class will release Mazda from liability and will not be able to sue Mazda about the issues in the lawsuit.

    More information is available in the Mazda Settlement Agreement here or you may contact the Settlement Notice Administrator, toll-free, at 1-888-735-5596.

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The Final Approval ("Fairness") Hearing

  1. When and where will the Court decide whether to grant final approval of the Mazda Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval, or “Fairness,” Hearing at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on October 25, 2017 at the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States District Courthouse, Southern District of Florida, 400 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33128. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will only listen to people who have met the requirement to speak at the hearing (see FAQ 16). After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to grant final approval of the Settlement, and, if so, how much to pay the lawyers representing Class Members. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

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  2. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    No. Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to court to talk about it–but you can if you provide advance notice of your intention to appear (see FAQ 17). As long as you filed a written objection with all of the required information on time with the Court, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but that is not required.

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  3. May I speak at the hearing?

    The deadline to submit your Notice of Intent to Appear to the Fairness Hearing has passed. You must have submitted your notice to Settlement Class Counsel, the automotive manufacturer’s Counsel, and the Clerk of the Court so that it was postmarked no later than September 25, 2017.

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  4. What was the outcome of the Final Approval (“Fairness”) Hearing on October 25, 2017 ?

    The Final Order Approving Class Settlement and Certifying Settlement Class and the Final Judgment were entered for the Settlement on November 1, 2017.

    The appeals have been dismissed by the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Court has established the Effective Date for the Mazda Settlement as July 30, 2018.

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Exclusion and Objection

  1. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Excluding yourself (or “opting out”) is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you. Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class.

    If you are a Class Member and you do nothing, you will remain a Class Member and all of the Court’s orders will apply to you, you will be eligible for the settlement benefits described above as long as you satisfy the conditions for receiving each benefit, and you will not be able to sue Mazda over the issues in the lawsuit.

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  2. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the Settlement was on September 25, 2017, and has passed.

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  3. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

    If you exclude yourself, you cannot receive settlement benefits. If you ask to be excluded, you cannot object to the Settlement. But, if you timely and properly request exclusion, the Settlement will not prevent you from suing, continuing to sue, or remaining or becoming part of a different lawsuit against Mazda, in the future, about the issues in the lawsuit. If you exclude yourself, you will not be bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit and you may not object to the settlement.

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  4. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Mazda for the claims resolved by this Settlement. If the Settlement is finally approved, you will be permanently enjoined and barred from initiating or continuing any lawsuit or other proceeding against Mazda about the issues in the lawsuit.

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  5. How do I get out of the Mazda Settlement?

    The deadline to opt out of the Settlement was on September 25, 2017, and has passed.

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Questions About Counsel

  1. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    Yes. The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called “Settlement Class Counsel”: Peter Prieto of Podhurst Orseck, P.A., is Chair Lead Counsel, and David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner, L.L.P. and Todd A. Smith of Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. are Co-Lead Counsel for the economic damages track. Roland Tellis of Baron & Budd P.C., James Cecchi of Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein P.C., and Elizabeth Cabraser of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP are the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee members. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.

    Their contact information is as follows:

    Peter Prieto
    PODHURST ORSECK, P.A.
    Suntrust International Tower
    One S.E. 3rd Avenue
    Suite 2700
    Miami, Florida 33131
    Tel: (305) 358-2800
    Email: pprieto@podhurst.com
    URL: www.podhurst.com
    Chair Lead Counsel
    David Boies
    BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER, L.L.P.
    575 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY 10022
    Tel: (305) 539-8400
    Email: dboies@bsfllp.com
    URL: www.bsfllp.com
    Co-Lead Counsel for the Economic Loss Track
    Todd A. Smith
    POWER, ROGERS AND SMITH, L.L.P.
    70 West Madison St.
    Suite 5500
    Chicago, IL 60602
    Tel: (312) 313-0202
    Email: tas@prslaw.com
    URL: www.prslaw.com
    Co-Lead Counsel for the Economic Loss Track
    Roland Tellis
    BARON & BUDD
    15910 Ventura Blvd. #1600
    Encino, CA 91436
    Tel: (818) 839-2333
    Email: rtellis@baronbudd.com
    URL: www.baronandbudd.com
    Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
    James E. Cecchi
    CARELLA, BYRNE, CECCHI, OLSTEIN, BRODY & AGNELLO, PC
    5 Becker Farm Road
    Roseland, NJ 07068
    Tel: (973) 994-1700
    Email: jcecchi@carellabyrne.com
    URL: www.carellabyrne.com
    Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
    Elizabeth J. Cabraser
    LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
    275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Tel: (415) 956-1000
    Email: ecabraser@lchb.com
    URL: www.lieffcabraser.com
    Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee

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  2. How will the lawyers be paid? What about the awards to the named Plaintiffs/Class Representatives?

    The Parties did not begin to negotiate Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses until after agreeing to the principal terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Settlement Class Counsel agrees to file, and Mazda agrees not to oppose, an application for an award of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses of not more than 30% of the Settlement Amount. This award will be paid from the settlement fund, and it shall be the sole compensation paid by Mazda for all Plaintiffs’ counsel in the Actions.

    Settlement Class Counsel may petition the Court for incentive awards of up to $5,000 per Plaintiff. The purpose of such awards is to compensate the Plaintiffs for efforts undertaken by them on behalf of the Class. Any incentive awards made by the Court will be paid from the Settlement Fund within 30 days of the Effective Date.

    Mazda will not be liable for, or obligated to pay, any attorneys’ fees, expenses, costs, or disbursements, either directly or indirectly, in connection with the Actions or the Agreement, other than as set forth above.

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More Information

  1. How do I get more information?

    More details are available in the Mazda Settlement Agreement. You can view and/or print a copy of the Mazda Settlement Agreement and other information about the Mazda Settlement and other important documents in this case in the Documents section of the website. You can also contact the Settlement Notice Administrator, toll-free, at 1-888-735-5596 or write to the Settlement Notice Administrator at:

    Auto Airbag Settlement
    Settlement Notice Administrator
    P.O. Box 3207
    Portland, OR 97208-3207

    Please do not contact Mazda or Mazda’s Dealers about the Settlement. Please direct all questions about the Settlement to the Settlement Notice Administrator.

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  2. When will the Mazda Settlement be final?

    The Mazda Settlement will not be final unless and until the Court grants final approval of the Settlement at or after the Fairness Hearing and after any appeals are resolved in favor of the Settlement. Please be patient and check the website periodically for updates.

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  3. What about dealing with governmental authorities?

    Class Members are not precluded from addressing, contacting, dealing with, or complying with requests or inquiries from any governmental authorities relating to the issues raised in this class action settlement.

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  4. Has my vehicle been recalled yet? / How do I know if my vehicle has been recalled?

    Subject Vehicles will be recalled by Coordinated Remedy Program Priority Groups. These priority groups are defined in the Amended Annex A document of the Remedy Order, which is available for download in the Documents section of this website.

    Additionally, you may check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, at www.safercar.gov, to verify if a recall is active on your vehicle.

    It is important to note that dealerships may not have information regarding future recalls at this time, and may not perform the recall remedy until your Subject Vehicle has been recalled. If your Subject Vehicle is recalled in the future, you will become eligible to submit a Registration/Claim for a Settlement Payment after you take your Subject Vehicle to a dealership to have the Takata Airbag Recall Remedy performed.

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Important Dates

  • June 9, 2017
    Preliminary Approval Hearing
  • September 25, 2017
    Exclusion (Opt-Out) Deadline
  • September 25, 2017
    Objection Deadline
  • October 25, 2017
    Final Approval (“Fairness”) Hearing
  • July 30, 2018
    Effective Date of the Settlement