1. What is this class action about?
The class action alleges that certain automotive companies, including Mazda, manufactured, distributed, or sold certain vehicles containing allegedly defective Takata airbag inflators manufactured by Defendants 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 thereof.
Mazda denies that it committed any violations of law, engaged in any unlawful act or conduct, or that there 'is any basis for liability for any of these allegations.
The Courts have not taken any position as to the truth or merits of the claims or defences of the parties.
2. Who is eligible to participate in this class action?
The Class Members consist of all persons, entities, or organizations resident in Canada who own, owned, lease or leased a Subject Vehicle as of the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall(s) dates.
A comprehensive list of the “Subject Vehicles” is available for viewing here.
3. Why is this a class action?
A class action is a lawsuit which provides a method for a large group of people with common claims to join together to advance one large claim. Class actions are a more efficient and cost-effective way for groups of people with common claims to gain access to the legal system and seek justice.
4. Has the settlement been approved?
No. The Ontario and Quebec Courts will each hold a hearing to decide whether to approve this settlement. The hearing in the Ontario Court will take place at the courthouse at 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N5 on February 11, 2020 10 a.m. The hearing in the Quebec Court will take place at the Palais de Justice, 1 Notre-Dame St. E., Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1B6 on February 17, 2020 at 9 a.m. The Courts will decide whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of Class Members.
5. Are there any benefits available now?
It is not known when the Courts will approve the settlement, if they do so, or whether there will be any appeals that would have to be resolved in favor of the settlement before certain benefits would be provided, so we do not know precisely when any benefits may be available. Please check the website regularly for updates regarding the settlement.
6. What benefits may be available under this settlement?
If you are a Class Member, what you are eligible to receive depends on several factors. The settlement benefits are outlined generally below. The Courts still have to decide whether to approve the settlement.
The proposed settlement benefits include, among other components: (i) Out-of-Pocket Claims Process, (ii) Customer Support Program and (iii) Outreach Program. Capitalized terms are defined in the Settlement Agreement
Out-of-Pocket Claims Process
If the settlement is approved, including resolving any appeals in favor of upholding the settlement, you can ask to be reimbursed for certain reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the Recall Remedy, subject to certain terms and conditions. To be eligible for reimbursement, you must submit a timely and fully completed Claim Form. The Claim Form is available here. In no event shall a Class Member be entitled to more than one reimbursement payment per Recall Remedy performed on each Subject Vehicle they own(ed) or lease(d).
The Settlement Notice and Claims Administrator will implement and administer the Out-of-Pocket Claims Process. The types of eligible reimbursable costs - and the supporting documentation that you need to provide- are listed in the Registration/Claim Form, which include, but are not limited to, (i) reasonable rental car or other alternate transportation expenses incurred prior to the Class Notice date but after the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall(s); (ii) reasonable towing charges incurred prior to the Class Notice date but after the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall(s); (iii) reasonable childcare expenses incurred prior to the Class Notice date but after the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall(s); (iv) reasonable costs incurred and directly associated with repairing driver or passenger front airbags containing Takata PSAN inflators incurred prior to the Class Notice date but after the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall(s); and (v) reasonable lost wages.
In no event shall the Out-of-Pocket Claims Process be used to reimburse Class Members' costs due to vehicle damage, property damage or personal injury allegedly from the deployment or non-deployment of a Takata airbag.
Reimbursements shall be made on a first-in-first-out basis, and the Settlement Notice and Claims Administrator shall use best efforts to make the first set of reimbursements 90 days after Final Court Approval.
The claims of the Quebec Class Members shall be subject to the regulation respecting the percentage withheld by the Fonds d' Aide aux recours collectifs.
Finality of decision: If a Claim is rejected for payment, in whole or in part, the Settlement Notice and Claims Administrator shall notify Class Counsel and Mazda's Counsel of said rejection of Class Member's Claim and the reason(s) why said Claim was rejected. The decision of the Settlement Notice and Claims Administrator shall be final, provided however, that Class Counsel and Mazda's Counsel may meet and confer in an attempt to resolve these rejected Claims. If Class Counsel and Mazda jointly recommend payment of the Claims or payment of a reduced claim amount, then Mazda's Counsel shall inform the Settlement Notice and Claims Administrator, who shall instruct Mazda to pay said Claims. If Class Counsel and Mazda's Counsel disagree, then Class Counsel may petition the Court that has jurisdiction over the disputed Class Member's Claim for a final decision over the disputed Class Member's Claim.
Customer Support Program
Customer Support Program benefits: The Customer Support Program will provide prospective coverage for repairs and adjustments (including parts and labour) needed to correct defects, if any, in materials or workmanship of (i) the Takata PSAN inflators contained in the driver or passenger front airbag modules of Subject Vehicles or (ii) replacement driver or passenger inflators installed pursuant to the Takata Airbag Recall in the Subject Vehicles.
Customer Support Program timeline and duration: Subject to the time and mileage limitations set forth in the Settlement Agreement, this benefit will be automatically transferred and will remain with the Subject Vehicle regardless of ownership. The normal deployment of a replacement airbag inflator shall terminate this benefit as to a Subject Vehicle. To permit Mazda to coordinate with its Dealers to provide benefits pursuant to the Customer Support Program under the Agreement, eligible Class Members may begin seeking such benefits no earlier than 30 calendar days from the date of the issuance of Settlement Approval Orders. Nothing in the previous sentence shall affect the calculation of periods of time for which Mazda will provide coverage under the Customer Support Program.
Ineligible vehicles: Inoperable vehicles and vehicles with a salvaged, rebuilt or flood-damaged title are not eligible for the Customer Support Program.
As to non-desiccated Takata PSAN inflators, the Settlement Outreach Administrator shall implement and administer the Outreach Program as set forth in the Settlement Agreement and Outreach Program Protocol, with the goal of maximizing, to the extent practicable, completion of the Recall Remedy in Subject Vehicles for the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall(s).
Updates to the Outreach Program shall be posted on the Settlement website. In the event desiccated Takata PSAN inflators in the driver or passenger front airbag modules in any of the Subject Vehicles are recalled in the future, then the Outreach Program will be extended to include desiccated Takata PSAN inflators by agreement of the Parties and the Settlement Outreach Administrator, that will adopt the same protocol as the Outreach Program Protocol attached to the Settlement Agreement as Exhibit E for an additional period of time to be agreed upon by the Parties.
7. How do I make a claim for out-of-pocket expenses?
8. What is the deadline to file a claim for out-of-pocket-expenses?
There are different deadlines to file a claim depending on your situation. The following information explains those deadlines. The date of the Final Court Approval, when known, will be posted on the Settlement website. Please check the website regularly for updates.
(a) If you had the Recall Remedy performed on your Subject Vehicle as of Final Court Approval, you have one year from Final Court Approval to submit a Claim Form;
(b) If, after April 11, 2013 and before the Final Court Approval, you sold or returned, pursuant to a lease, a Subject Vehicle that was recalled under the Takata Airbag Inflator Recall prior to Final Court Approval, you have one year from Final Court Approval to submit a Claim Form; and
(c) If you bring your Subject Vehicle to a Mazda Dealer to have the Recall Remedy performed after the Final Court Approval, you have one year from Final Court Approval or one year from the date of the performance of the Recall Remedy on your Subject Vehicle, whichever is later, to submit a Claim Form.
9. Do I have to pay any legal fees to participate in the settlement?
No. Class Members are not liable for any legal fees incurred to date by Class Counsel. Class members are not required to retain their own individual lawyers to assist them to receive Settlement benefits, including making individual Claims.
Should Class Members choose to retain their own lawyers, they may do so and will be responsible to pay the legal fees of any lawyer they retain. Any questions about this Settlement, individual claims, or related issues should be directed to the Settlement Notice and Claims Administrator and/or to Class Counsel at the contact information listed below.
10. If I remain in the class, may I still sue Mazda?
No. If you remain in the Settlement and the settlement is finally approved, you will not be able to start or continue your own case against the defendant regarding the claims at issue in the class action.
11. How do I exclude myself from participating in this class action?
You can choose to exclude yourself from the class actions ("opt out"). You can opt out by sending a written request to opt out to the Settlement Administrator. Residents of Quebec must also send a copy of their request to opt out to the Clerk of the Superior Court of Quebec. For additional information regarding the opt out process please click here.
If you opt out you will not be eligible to receive any compensation or benefits from the settlement or the class action. However, you will be able to start or continue your own case against the defendant regarding the claims at issue in the action. However, applicable limitation periods or prescription delays will resume running against you. You should therefore consult with an independent lawyer at your cost if you wish to pursue your own claim.
This is your only chance to exclude yourself or opt out of this class action.
12. What is the deadline to exclude myself/opt-out of the class?
To properly and timely opt out of the class action, a written request to opt out must be postmarked no later than January 17, 2020.
Residents of Quebec must also send a copy of their request to opt out to the Clerk of the Superior Court of Quebec, postmarked by January 17, 2020.
13. Can I object to the Settlement or appear at the Approval Hearing?
If you want to tell the Courts what you think about the proposed settlements or speak to the Courts at the hearings listed above, Settlement Class Counsel, Mazda Counsel and the Court must receive your submission by mail no later than February 3, 2020 at: Settlement Class Counsel (McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP, 140 Fullarton Street, Suite 1800, London, ON, N6A 5P2, Attention: Sabrina Lombardi), Mazda Counsel (Stikeman Elliott LLP, 5300 Commerce Court West, 199 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5L 1B9, Attention: Alexander DeParde) and, if you are a resident of Quebec, the Superior Court of Quebec 1 rue Notre-Dame Est, Montréal, Quebec, H2Y 1B6 or, if you are a resident of Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice 361 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1T3, Attention: Justice Perell, c/o Alessia Bria.
The written submissions must state the nature of any comments or objections, and whether you intend to appear at the settlement approval hearing.
The written submission of any Class Member must include: (a) a heading which refers to the Actions; (b) the commenter's full name, telephone number, email address (if any), and address (the commenter's actual residential address must be included); (c) if represented by counsel, the full name, telephone number, and address of all counsel; (d) all of the reasons for his or her comments; (e) whether the commenter intends to appear at the Approval Hearing(s) on his or her own behalf or through counsel; (f) a statement that the commenter is a Class Member, including the make, model, year, and VIN(s) of the Subject Vehicle(s); and (g) the commenter's dated, handwritten signature (an electronic signature or lawyer's signature are not sufficient). Any documents supporting the comments must be attached to the written submission. If any testimony is proposed to be given in support of the comment at the Approval Hearing(s), the names of all persons who will testify must be set forth in written submission.
You may (but do not need to) attend the hearings. If you wish to attend the hearings, please contact Class Counsel for additional details.
14. What is the difference between excluding myself from the Settlement and objecting to the Settlement?
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.
15. Where can I obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement or other court documents?
You may view, download or print the documents from the Court Documents page. Please click here to go to the Court Documents page.
16. How can I contact the Administrators or Class Counsel?
Notice and Claims Administrator:
Mazda Settlement Notice Administrator
c/o Epiq Class Action Services
Suite 3-505, 133 Weber St N
Waterloo ON N2J 3G9
Mazda Recall Resolution Team
Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP
1561 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, ON N8X 1K5
McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP
1800-140 Fullarton Street
London, ON N6A 5P2
Consumer Law Group Inc.
1030 Berri Street, Suite 102
Montreal (Quebec), H2L 4C3
Tel: 514-266-7863 ext 2