USVI Gov’t gifts itself 50 New Vehicles; $1M cash in Honda settlement
Honda agreed to provide the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands with 50 cars worth $2.1 million as part of a settlement for the company's role in the lawsuit brought by the USVI government on behalf of residents against Takata Corporation and its U.S. subsidiary, TK Holdings, Inc.
The suit stemmed from Virgin Islands’ claims that Takata engaged in unlawful practices in connection with the manufacturing, marketing and sale of its dangerous airbags installed in vehicles sold to Virgin Islands consumers. Honda also provided $1 million in cash to the government as part of the settlement.
Honda also provided $1 million in cash to the government as part of the settlement and that is according to USVI Department of Justice Attorney General Denise George, who issued a release following the Consortium's story bringing to the fore brand new Honda vehicles being utilized by the government.
The G.V.I. and U.S. governments have traditionally purchased vehicles from American companies Ford and Chevrolet, so the sighting of the Hondas, among them Acura MDX vehicles whose cost range from $44,500 to $61,750, alarmed residents.
The suit was brought against the companies during the tenure of former Attorney General Claude Walker during the Mapp administration.
But while the GVI gets brand new, expensive cars worth $2.1 million along with $1 million in cash from Honda, Virgin Islanders who were affected by the defective airbags — roughly 2,500 residents — have received nothing from the latest round of payments.
Roughly 2,500 residents had previously received $200 each under the Mapp administration during Attorney General Claude Walker's tenure. The payments, which totalled $500,000, were part of the $1.5 million original settlement with Takata Corporation and its U.S. subsidiary, TK Holdings, Inc.
The VI government brought filed the original suit in 2016.