Bates White provides estimates of future claims and settlement costs for Takata Customer Group
Bates White was retained by the Takata Customer Group, a collection of 13 major vehicle manufacturers, to participate in Takata’s bankruptcy proceedings and address valuation issues related to pending and future personal injury claims alleging impairment from accidents caused by Takata’s Phase Stabilized Ammonium Nitrate (PSAN) inflators.
In May 2015, the US Department of Transportation announced what would become the largest vehicle recall in US history, affecting an estimated 42 million vehicles and 63 million–69 million inflators. This recall was precipitated by a number of incidents in which Takata airbag inflators ruptured during deployment and injured vehicle occupants. The recalled vehicles all contain or contained airbags with Takata’s PSAN propellant. Takata subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection. The 13 automobile manufacturing clients from the Takata Customer Group agreed to contribute $80 million–$130 million to the Takata bankruptcy estate to compensate those who were injured by faulty Takata airbag inflators.
Bates White’s work included modeling a significant portion of US vehicles (their abandonment rates, airbag deployment, and rupture rates) to estimate the expected number of future claims, as well as historical claims processing and benchmarking to evaluate expected settlement costs by injury severity. Bates White also advised and participated in settlement mediations on behalf of the manufacturers regarding the scope of potential future personal injury and wrongful death claims from defective airbags in the bankruptcy proceedings.