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US judge rejects Honda and Takata bid to end lawsuit

Takata logo Image copyright AFP
Image caption About 24.5 million Honda vehicles with Takata airbags have been recalled since 2008

A US judge rejects a bid by Takata and Honda to end a class action lawsuit representing millions of owners of cars with potentially faulty airbags.

The airbag maker along with other carmakers will continue to face the lawsuit that alleges that they violated anti-racketeering laws, district judge Federico Mareno ruled in Miami.

The firms have been moving quickly to settle US death claims.

Over 19 million US cars have been recalled since 2008 due to the airbags.

Takata and Honda have agreed to undisclosed settlements for six of the eight deaths linked to ruptured Takata airbag inflators in Honda vehicles.

Takata's air bag inflators use ammonium nitrate and can deploy with too much force, spraying metal shrapnel.

Settling claims

A Honda spokesman told Reuters news agency that the Japanese auto giant had been working quickly to settle the claims and had worked in good faith to resolve the concerns of the families affected.

But the judge ruled on Wednesday that the lawsuit still stands.

The lawsuit claims that owners overpaid for the cars with the faulty airbags and that the value of those vehicles have been reduced by the recalls.

Globally, tens of millions of cars with Takata airbags have been recalled since 2008.

But Honda, Japan's third biggest carmaker, has been the hardest hit with 24.5 million cars recalled - more than half the global total.

Last month, Honda announced that it would no longer use front airbag inflators made by Takata, after the equipment maker was fined $70m (£46m) by the US auto safety regulator.

Honda was Takata's biggest air bag customer and made up about 10% of Takata's global sales.

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