Takata To Go Belly Up As Early As Next Week

The logo of Takata Corp is seen on its display at a showroom for vehicles in Tokyo Japan
Japan's Takata Expected to File for Bankruptcy
Author

17 June, 2017

The Nikkei reported earlier that Takata is expected to file for bankruptcy in Japan as early as this month, with liabilities exceeding 1 trillion yen ($9.02 billion). After more than a year of searching for a potential suitor and trying in vain to orchestrate a deal that would allow them to avoid bankruptcy altogether, the Takata family is prepared to sell its 84-year-old manufacturing company to one of its competitors, Key Safety Systems, Inc., a Michigan-based airbag-maker that's own by Chinese industrial group Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp.

Any bankruptcy would pose limited risk to Takata's ability to supply the roughly 100 million replacement inflators required to complete the global recall, one of the sources familiar with the company's plans said. So far though more than 65 percent of the 46.2 million recalled airbag inflators in the United States have not been repaired. Completing the task of replacing all faulty inflators in the United States could cost as much as $8 billion, a USA judge claims.

Bloomberg reported that the timing of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing could change, according to their source, who asked not to identified.

Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. In the same month, a grand jury indicted three former executives for criminal wrongdoing in connection with the safety defects. Takata is hoping to erase billions in liabilities and resolve the recall of air-bag inflators.

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Moreover the company paid a $25 million fine, $125 million to people hurt by the airbags and $850 million to companies that used them. Almost 16 million cars were involved. Recalls are to continue through at least the end of 2019.

Last month, four automakers including Toyota and BMW agreed to pay $553 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit over the airbags. Takata's bankruptcy was nearly a foregone conclusion, but the need to replace tens of millions of airbags remains. That will be a daunting task.

"Replacing defective airbags is still the most important issue for manufacturers on the Takata front, and the most important issue for this story as a whole. Now that the company's credibility has been shot, it's possible the brand may never recover and gets back to where it once was".


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