The recalls and accidents set off multiple lawsuits against Takata and the car companies using the air bags, alleging personal injuries or deaths or economic losses tied to the products. Takata also reached a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. that included a $25 million criminal fine.
The settlements are aimed at pushing completion rates for recalls, Peter Prieto, a plaintiffs' lawyer, said in a statement. As of April 28, the recall completion rates for the four companies ranged from a high at 31.89 percent for Toyota to a low at 16.48 percent for BMW, citing federal regulators' statistics.
"We look forward to accelerating the removal of Takata airbags from the roads," Prieto said.
The settlement covers 15.8 million vehicles, with Toyota having the biggest share, at 9.2 million. The settlement doesn't cover claims over personal injuries or deaths. Plaintiffs are still pursuing these suits, as well economic loss claims against Ford, Honda and Nissan, according to their lawyers.
"The programs offered in these agreements are intended to increase recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflators, among other customer benefits," the carmakers said in a joint statement Thursday.
Toyota's portion of the settlement is the highest, at $278.5 million. Bayerische Motoren Werke will pay $131 million, covering 2.3 million vehicles, plaintiffs' attorneys said.
The settlements will require approval from the court. The rental-car program will begin after preliminary approval is granted, plaintiffs' lawyers said.