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Bankrupt Air-Bag Maker Takata Means to Keep Limping Along

26 Juin 2017

(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File).

The Tokyo Stock Exchange said shares of Takata would be delisted on July 27 after it filed for bankruptcy protection.

KSS has substantially completed its due diligence, and Takata and KSS are working toward finalizing a definitive agreement in the coming weeks, with an expected transaction close in the first quarter of 2018.

Takata Corp., the Japanese auto supply company whose airbags were blamed for killing at least 14 people around the world, filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday, saying it's selling nearly all of its operations to a Michigan-based company.

There have been multiple issues with Takata's airbags but the main one involved airbag inflators that explode when the airbag is activated and blast shrapnel into the cabin.

Faulty air-bag inflators made by the 84-year-old Japanese company have been linked to at least 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries around the world.

US drivers can log onto www.safercar.gov to search for recalls affecting their auto using its 17-digit vehicle identification number, which is located on the driver's side of the dashboard near the windshield.

Takata Americas, its USA arm, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in DE on Sunday with liabilities of $10 billion to $50 billion, while the Japanese parent and subsidiaries filed for protection with the Tokyo District Court early on Monday.

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

"As a maker of safety parts for the automobile industry, our failure to maintain a stable supply would have had a major impact across the industry".

The $1.6bn (£1.3bn) deal was announced after the Japanese company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, with similar action taken in Japan. However, when The New York Times revealed a sweeping cover up in 2014, Takata was forced to accept responsibility and recall all airbags built between 2000 and 2008.

The government says vehicles younger than six years old aren't now at risk of an air bag inflator rupture even if they're in a high humidity region, because it takes time for the ammonium nitrate to degrade. Key Safety Systems Inc., a US air-bag maker, is set to take over Takata for about 180 billion yen ($1.6 billion), people familiar with the matter have said.

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"There's not enough money", Upham said.

They are responsible for at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries and sparked the largest automotive recall in USA history.

Tokyo Shoko Research said that more than 130 companies in the country serve as tier 1 suppliers to Takata.

Subaru Corp. has so far sunk about 73.5 billion yen ($660.7 million) into covering its recall of about 2.75 million inflators worldwide. The scope of the recalls means some vehicle owners face lengthy waits for replacement parts, meanwhile driving cars with air bags that could malfunction in a crash.

The defect in the inflators stems from use of the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate to deploy air bags in a crash. The chemical can deteriorate when exposed to hot and humid air and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.

The sale would help Takata meet its $850 million payment obligation to auto makers early next year, part of a $1 billion plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department to settle a criminal investigation into the parts maker.

Under the agreement with Key, Takata's manufacturing of inflators will be kept separate in order to keep manufacturing inflators used as replacement parts in recalls.

Final liabilities would depend on the outcome of discussions with carmaker customers who have borne the bulk of the replacement costs, a lawyer for the company said.

That settlement will speed the removal of faulty inflators from 15.8 million vehicles and compensate consumers for economic losses, he said.

At its height, Takata had production facilities on four continents, with its European headquarters in Germany where it also had nine production centers.

Seko said he hopes that Key Safety Systems Inc. will fix Takata's battered finances and that he "expects a quick turnaround".