Japan's trade minister - Takata bankruptcy filing was unavoidable

Takata faced tens of billions of dollars in costs and liabilities from decades of recalls and lawsuits over its airbags, which have been linked to at least 17 deaths worldwide. By 2020, it will cover 64 million to 69 million inflators in 42 million cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

January 2012: In a meeting with USA auto-safety regulators, Takata "failed to clarify inaccurate information" on the air bags, according to a consent decree the company later signed.

After kick-starting the world's largest automotive recall, Takata has resigned to fate and filed for bankruptcy protection. The company was part of a group of global automakers that held discussions with Takata and Key Safety Systems prior to Monday's filing.

Dorado's auto was found to have a defective Takata air bag that had been taken from another vehicle.

"At a board meeting on June 26, our company chose to begin procedures in filing for bankruptcy protection", Takata said in a statement after making the filing with the Tokyo District Court.

At least $1 billion from the sale to Key is expected to be used to satisfy Takata's settlement of criminal charges in the US for concealing problems with the inflators. Part of the business is subsequently sold.


Takata agreed in January to plead guilty in the USA to wire fraud for providing false data to safety regulators. In 1960, it started manufacturing seat belts for local automakers, which were leading the country's industrial expansion.A few years later, Honda asked Takata to look into manufacturing air bags.

"We apologize for causing inconvenience", Takada said at a general meeting of Takata shareholders in Tokyo, according to participants.

Jefferies Group LLC has put the total cost at ¥1.28 trillion ($11.5 billion), while Tokyo Shoko Research estimates ¥1.7 trillion; people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg News that a worst-case scenario would run to $24 billion. The deal includes a $25 million criminal fine, a $125 million victim compensation fund and $850 million to be paid to automakers.

The Japanese media had speculated that a "Rising Sun" alliance of Japanese carmakers - led by Honda, Takata's largest customer - might bail out Takata. The Department of Justice also reveals that it has indicted three Takata executives who reside in Japan with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud.

Preliminary approval was granted on June 12 to class action settlement agreements that resolve economic loss claims against automakers such as BMW, Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota.

Peter Prieto, a lawyer for consumer plaintiffs in the Takata air bag litigation, said in a statement that Honda had refused to present the engineer for a deposition.


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