Takata officially files for bankruptcy in Japan and US

In the biggest bankruptcy of a Japanese manufacturer, Takata faces tens of billions of dollars in costs and liabilities resulting from nearly a decade of recalls and lawsuits.

US-based auto parts maker Key Safety Systems (KSS) will buy Takata for an estimated $1.58 billion.

Embattled airbag maker Takata Corp on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and said it would seek $1.588 billion (£1.2 billion) in financial aid from us -based auto parts supplier Key Safety Systems (KSS).

They are blamed for at least 11 deaths in the USA and several more in other countries.

The Tokyo-based firm is facing lawsuits and huge costs over the problems that are linked to at least 16 deaths and scores of injuries globally.

The problems developed into a scandal after it emerged that Takada allegedly hid the issues for years before recalling the risky airbags.


Global transport authorities have ordered about 100 million inflators to be recalled, a process that has dragged on for almost a decade.

"Filing for bankruptcy is going to protect Takata financially, but it's not going to protect drivers who have been injured or are going to be injured", Morrison said.

"A lot of people are suspecting that it won't cover the total cost". A committee set up to explore restructuring has made a recommendation with Key as a suitor, but Takata's board had not decided on that last week, Takata said in a statement.

May - Takata posts a full-year net loss of 79.6 billion yen, its third straight annual loss, over rising inflator replacement costs.

Takata recently pleaded guilty in a USA court to criminal charges for its handling of the scandal, agreeing to pay $1 billion in penalties, including the fund for people injured as a result of the fiery shrapnel hurled from its air bags.

Parts are not yet available for some models, and other models haven't been recalled yet.


2000: Takata executives Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsuneo Chikaraishi realize that the air bags can rupture but they don't inform automakers.

News reports have said Takata's liabilities would exceed one trillion yen ($9 billion). "The (automakers) have been expecting that". In the air bags being recalled, Takata didn't use a chemical desiccant, a drying agent that can counteract the effects of moisture.

The bankruptcy case also will not affect the $125 million victim compensation fund Takata established as part of its criminal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

It said it would continue talks with the supplier but anticipated difficulties in recovering the bulk of its claims.

Lewis said that the lawsuits against Takata created further uncertainty. Still, only about 35 percent of USA recalls, which account for about half of all affected vehicles globally, have been completed. "And I suspect that there will be other creditors that end up not getting paid either". The Tokyo Stock Exchange suspended trading on the company all day Monday after the announcement and said the shares will be delisted July 27. From there, as manufacturers and regulators dug into the issue, the recalls swelled and automakers scrambled to understand the scope of the problem. The resulting vehicle recalls affected some 42 million vehicles in the USA alone.

"The proposed structure for the potential transaction is meant to minimise transaction risk and supply chain disruption concerns for Takata's (automaker) customers", Luo added.


Takata was heavily criticised for its handling of the public relations crisis, but some say its automaker clients also dragged their feet on dealing with the snowballing scandal.


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