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Court Grants Final Approval of $9 Million Honda Side Airbag Settlement


On November 20, 2014, the United States District Court, Central District of California, granted final approval of a $9 million class action settlement concerning an alleged defect in the side airbags systems found in Accord model automobiles manufactured by Honda.  In August 2009, the class action attorneys at Esensten Law, along with other law firms, initiated a putative class action against Honda alleging that the side airbags in their Accord vehicles are defective in that they are prone to inadvertent deployment without their vehicles actually being involved in a side impact collision or accident. In such cases, the side airbags simply deploy while driving at normal speeds or while driving over a pothole on the roadway. After conducting a significant investigation and dedicating considerable resources to litigating the action, the Esensten Law class action attorneys, along with various other law firms, negotiated a settlement on behalf of class members.


In granting approval of the settlement, the Court appointed the class action attorneys at Esensten Law, along with the other law firms that litigated this action, as Class Counsel.  The settlement offers two key categories of relief.  First, the settlement guarantees reimbursement for class members who incurred out-of-pocket expenses to replace or repair their side airbags as a result of an inadvertent deployment.  Second, the settlement provides injunctive relief that requires Honda to repair and replace, at no charge to consumers, any side airbag systems that suffers an inadvertent deployment within the two years following the effective date of the settlement. By ensuring that settlement class members will not be responsible for any expenses associated with repairing a side airbag that experiences an inadvertent deployment, the settlement provides class members with relief similar to what they could expect to receive only after a full trial on the merits.


The case is Gutierrez v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Case No. CV 09-01517 (OPx).

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