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Nisson drivers may get $800 to repair auto defects

Nissan has settled a class-action lawsuit regarding faulty brakes in certain 2004-2008 models. The settlement could reimburse Minnesota drivers of the vehicles mentioned in the suit with up to $800 apiece. Nissan filed the settlement on Dec. 5 with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The settlement originates from a lawsuit filed in 2011 that claimed the breaks on certain Nissan models would fail unexpectedly. Although Nissan did not agree to recompense the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit for any personal injuries relating to the brake problem, the Japan-based car company will reimburse drivers of the defective vehicles from $20 to $800 to cover repairs. The amount awarded to recipients is reported to be based on vehicle mileage. Approximately 350,000 vehicles could require repairs for the faulty brakes, and Nissan is also covering the $3.45 million in legal fees on behalf of the plaintiff in the original lawsuit.

Auto product liability lawsuits could include incidents caused by faulty airbags, negligent repair work, defective tires and generally defective products. The question of who is liable for damages, injuries and fatal accidents with regard to automotive defects is a far-reaching issue that may involve plaintiffs nationwide.

Not only are the original defects called into question, but the amount owned to plaintiffs may also reflect the consequences of those defects, such as unintended acceleration, brake failure and post-collision fires that are often more damaging than the defects themselves. If evidence emerges suggesting that the manufacturers knew of the auto defects, it creates a strong potential for a successful class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers for negligence.

Source: Reuters, "Nissan settles class lawsuit claiming faulty brakes", Jessica Dye, December 09, 2014

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