Biz-novosti

Airbag manufacturer Takata files for bankruptcy protection


How does this affect the global recall process?

Takata and automakers were slow to address the problem with the inflators, despite reports of deaths and injuries. "So a lot of these recalled vehicles have not been fixed, the airbags don't exist for them to be fixed yet".

Because of the size of the recall, some auto owners face lengthy waits for replacement parts, and are still operating their cars anxious that the air bag could malfunction in a crash.

The company's chairman and CEO Shigehisa Takada - who's the grandson of the founder - has been criticised repeatedly for mishandling the crisis.

As of May 26, only 38 percent of the air bag inflators under recall in the U.S. had been repaired, according to data on the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in the us and Japan on Sunday. The money will be paid in various accounts with $850 million going to auto manufacturers to fix the unsafe airbags, $125 million to the victims, and $25 million to the government. Settlement agreements with Toyota, Subaru, BMW and Mazda already have won preliminary court approvals, said the attorney, Peter Prieto. But the safety devices relied on a faulty inflator that when activated can explode and send shrapnel into the vehicle. Its shares were suspended Monday because they're going to be delisted, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said.

Key, a Chinese company with global operations, makes inflators, seat belts and crash sensors for the auto industry.

Jason Luo, president and chief executive of KSS, which is owned by China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic, voiced confidence in Takata's rehabilitation.

The sale to Key Safety and the bankruptcy proceedings are expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, Takata said in a statement.

By the 1980s, the firm had ballooned into a top global auto parts player on the back of Japan's surging economic clout.

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Honda now uses no Takata-sourced inflators for recall repairs in the USA, and none of the company's new vehicles in mass production worldwide use Takata inflators with ammonium nitrate propellant, said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman in the U.S.

The airbag scandal has led to a slow and painful demise for Takata, which started out as a textile manufacturer more than 80 years ago and later came to specialize in seat belts and other auto safety equipment.

The firm had initially been seeking a turnaround plan that was not court mandated, but both automakers and Key Safety Systems Inc. insisted on the court's involvement to ensure the highest amount of transparency possible.

Earlier this year, Takata pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and agreed to pay $1 billion for concealing the defect for years.

In 2016, it had annual revenue of more than $1.8 billion. The faulty design is due to the use of ammonium nitrate which forcefully explodes when exposed to heat. "But I believe there was too much concern on the part of the (automakers) about future liabilities and that potentially representing a black hole".

Cars and trucks made by 19 companies are included in the recall. But the risk grows as the vehicle ages. Many owners have been put on waiting lists by their dealers until the parts arrive.

November - Takata agrees to halt new contracts for ammonium-nitrate inflators in the United States, phase out manufacture and sale of such inflators without desiccant.

It also faces potential liabilities from class action lawsuits in the United States, Canada and other countries.

The remainder of Takata assets will be reorganized to produce replacement inflators, but it is not clear how long they will operate. Other manufacturers are also supplying replacement air bags.

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