Takata files for bankruptcy

Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp has filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the US.

Takata faces billions of dollars in liabilities after its faulty airbag inflators caused the biggest recall in automotive history, with 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries being attributed to the defective airbags.

US supplier, Key Safety Systems Inc (KSS), based out of Michigan in the US is expected to acquire ‘substantially all’ of Takata’s global assets and operations for $1.59bn. The deal will not include the business relating to the global airbag recall which will be run by a ‘reorganised’ Takata.

Takata said it would keep producing the components through March 2020 to ensure a steady supply of replacement inflators for the millions being recalled.

Jason Luo, president & CEO of KSS said, ‘Although Takata has been impacted by the global airbag recall, the underlying strength of its skilled employee base, geographic reach, and exceptional steering wheels, seat belts and other safety products has not diminished. We look forward to finalizing definitive agreements with Takata in the coming weeks, completing the transaction and serving both our new and long-standing customers while investing in the next phase of growth for the new KSS.’

Shigehisa Takada, chairman and CEO of Takata said, ‘Throughout this process, our top priorities have been providing a steady supply of products to our valued customers, including replacement parts for recalls, and a stable home for our exceptional employees. This agreement would allow that to continue.’