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Takata Files for Bankruptcy Protection
27 June 2017, 12:58 | Maryann Sutton
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Malfunctioning Takataairbag inflators have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide and a $1 billion fine in the U.S. In January, a federal grand jury indicted three former Takata executives for criminal wrongdoing in connection with the safety defect.
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.
How does this affect the global recall process?
Industry sources say Takata would be able to complete the current global recall under bankruptcy, but could face problems if further recalls are required down the line.
KSS will buy almost all of Takata's assets, except for some assets and operations linked to Takata's problematic "phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate" airbag inflators, the firm said. "So a lot of these recalled vehicles have not been fixed, the airbags don't exist for them to be fixed yet". The scope of the recall means some vehicle owners face lengthy waits for replacement parts while continuing to drive cars with air bags that could malfunction in a crash.
The recalls began in 2008 and are expected to cost the embattled maker in the region of 10 billion USA dollars, according to industry sources familiar with the matter.
In fact, the last batch of USA repairs is not scheduled to begin until September 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is overseeing the recall. The chemical can deteriorate when exposed to hot and humid air and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.
The Japanese airbag manufacturer on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the United States. Of that amount, $850 million goes to automakers to cover their costs of the recalls. "One gentleman cannot smile anymore". Settlement agreements with Toyota, Subaru, BMW and Mazda have already received preliminary approval from the MDL Court, and will accelerate the removal of risky airbag inflators from 15.8 million vehicles and compensate consumers for economic losses associated with the recall.
That settlement will speed the removal of faulty inflators from 15.8 million vehicles and compensate consumers for economic losses, Prieto said. "This agreement would allow that to continue", Shigehisa Takada, Chairman & CEO of Takata said.
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The Tokyo Stock Exchange also announced it will de-list Takata shares from July 27. That makes it unclear whether anyone injured by inflators in the future would have any legal recourse against either company.
After absorbing Takata's assets, Key Safety Systems will have about 60,000 employees in 23 countries.
Japan Credit Rating Agency cut Takata's credit rating to default on Monday. U.S. auto safety regulators announced a record 200 million United States dollars civil fine against Takata on November 4 for providing inadequate and inaccurate information about its dangerously explosive airbags installed in millions of cars.
The company had been seeking an out-of-court restructuring deal but found it hard to reach agreement with automakers that have covered the costs of replacing defective inflators.
What followed was a grand series of missteps, including withholding data and manipulating test results, resulting in Takata pleading guilty to wire fraud charges in the US. Eventually, it grew into one of the world's largest seat belt and air bag suppliers.
Nissan Motor Co., Japan's No.2 automaker, issued a statement saying it would also have trouble claiming reimbursement for its recall costs. More recalls are coming as more parts are made.
February, 2016 - Takata names an outside steering committee to develop a comprehensive restructuring plan while continues to supply recall inflators. Other manufacturers are also supplying replacement air bags. The recall-related liabilities will be shouldered by the remaining entity. Immediate confirmation was not available.
Some automakers are offering loaner cars until replacement parts are available. Without parts, dealers can't perform the recalls and it is illegal for service centers to disable airbags.
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