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These Frequently Asked Questions will be updated periodically to provide current information regarding the Individual Restitution Fund and compensation process.
|1.||What is the Individual Restitution Fund?|
On February 27, 2017, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (the “Court”) entered a Restitution Order in the criminal case United States v. Takata Corp., Case No. 16-cr-20810-04 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 27, 2017) requiring Takata to pay restitution in the amount of $125 million to individuals who suffered or will suffer personal injury caused by the malfunction of a Takata airbag inflator (the “Individual Restitution Fund”). On March 29, 2017, Takata paid the $125 million to the Individual Restitution Fund. In addition, the Order requires Takata to fund the cost to administer the Individual Restitution Fund. For more information, please visit the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-edmi/takata-airbag-inflator-matter-16-cr-20810, or the United States Department of Justice website at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/takata-airbag-inflator-matter.
|2.||What is the role of the Special Master?|
The Special Master was appointed by the Court to administer the Individual Restitution Fund. The Special Master’s responsibilities include establishing procedures to determine eligible claimants; developing a formula for allocating funds to eligible claimants; and making recommendations to the Court, subject to Court approval, on distributions to eligible claimants from the Individual Restitution Fund. On July 31, 2017, Professor Eric D. Green was appointed Special Master.
|3.||Who is an eligible claimant?|
Individuals who have suffered, or who suffer in the future, personal injury or wrongful death caused by the malfunction of a Takata airbag inflator and who have not already resolved their claims against Takata may be eligible to receive payment from the Individual Restitution Fund. Criteria to determine eligibility will be determined at a later date and will be posted on the website.
|4.||Will a claim be eligible if it is not based on a personal injury?|
The Individual Restitution Fund was created to compensate those who have suffered or will suffer personal injury caused by a malfunctioning Takata airbag. The Individual Restitution Fund does not cover other types of losses, including economic losses, caused by a malfunctioning airbag.
If you have suffered an economic loss, you should know that an Official Committee of Unsecured Tort Claimant Creditors has been formed in Takata’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to represent the interests of individual claimants who claim to have suffered, among other things, economic losses resulting from the defective airbags. Counsel to that Committee is the law firm of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP, who can be reached at (302) 652-4100 or by emailing Laura Davis Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|5.||What is the difference between a personal injury or wrongful death and an economic loss?|
Personal injury and wrongful death claims concern physical harm inflicted on an individual, such as bodily injury or death suffered in a car accident on account of a malfunctioning Takata airbag. Economic loss claims concern other kinds of losses, such as losses sustained by the inability to use your car, diminution in value, the cost required to fix your car or unpaid time off work when getting your car repaired.
|6.||How do I know if my airbag malfunctioned in order to make a claim on the Individual Restitution Fund?|
For the purposes of qualifying for a claim under the Individual Restitution Fund, a “malfunction” is defined as either a rupture of the airbag inflator by the vehicle’s phase stabilized ammonium nitrate inflator or what is known as an over-aggressive inflation of the airbag. Please note that this definition does NOT include airbags that failed to deploy.
|7.||How do I apply?|
The Special Master will propose to the Court, for Court approval, procedures and claims forms to allow potential claimants to file a claim for recovery. The approved claims forms will be available on this website when finalized within 90 days of appointment, subject to any extension granted by the Court.
The claims forms and this website will have detailed instructions regarding how to submit a claim, including where to submit the form and what, if any, documents you will need to submit with your form.
|8.||When do I apply?|
Not now. After the Court has approved the procedures for submitting claims, the claims forms will be available on this website. Dates and deadlines for the submission of claims will be clearly visible on the website. We suggest that potential claimants check this website again on or around November 1, 2017.
|9.||Does it cost anything to file a claim?|
|10.||How much will I be awarded?|
The Special Master will develop a formula, to be approved by the Court, to determine the allocation of funds to eligible claimants. The website will be updated periodically to provide information regarding the allocation process.
|11.||How will the Individual Restitution Fund issue payments?|
The Special Master will develop procedures, to be approved by the Court, for the payment of distributions to eligible claimants. The website will be updated periodically to provide information regarding the distribution process, including any steps that claimants may need to take to receive payment from the Individual Restitution Fund. The distribution procedures will be posted on the website.
|12.||Do I need a lawyer to file a claim?|
You are not required to have a lawyer to file a claim. However, you should understand that submitting a claim to, and receiving a payment from the Individual Restitution Fund may have significant legal consequences, and the Special Master cannot provide legal advice connected with your claim. If you wish to have any legal advice, you should consult your own legal counsel.
|13.||How does the Individual Restitution Fund relate to the Takata airbags Multi-District Litigation?|
Numerous class action suits and some personal injury suits against Takata have been consolidated in a multi-district litigation (“MDL”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Case No. 15-md-02599-FAM. The criminal case against Takata and the administration of the Individual Restitution Fund are separate proceedings from the MDL.
|14.||How does the Individual Restitution Fund relate to the Takata bankruptcy proceedings?|
The criminal case against Takata and the administration of the Individual Restitution Fund are separate proceedings from Takata’s bankruptcy cases in Delaware and Japan.
Takata’s main U.S. subsidiary, TK Holdings Inc., and certain of its affiliates have commenced cases under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Chapter 11 cases have been jointly administered for procedural purposes only at Case No. 17-11375 (BLS). Information on the Chapter 11 cases can be found at https://restructuring.primeclerk.com/takata/.
In coordination with the commencement of the Chapter 11 cases, Takata, together with Takata Kyushi K.K. and Takata Service Corporation, commenced civil rehabilitation proceedings under the Civil Rehabilitation Act of Japan in the 20th Department of the Civil Division of the Tokyo District Court. Information about the Civil Rehabilitation Act proceeding can be found at http://www.takata.com.