Takata is one of the world's biggest automotive suppliers and has been working for months to complete a deal with Michigan-based Key Safety Systems (KSS), which is owned by Chinese supplier Ningbo Joyson. However, automakers are concerned that Takata could go bankrupt without a finalized deal in place, as that could disrupt the production of replacement airbag inflators for recalled vehicles. "Takata's bankruptcy was nearly a foregone conclusion, but the need to replace tens of millions of airbags remains", said Karl Brauer, executive publisher for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. Completing the task of replacing all faulty inflators in the United States could cost as much as $8 billion, a USA judge claims.
According to latest reports, Japanese auto parts-maker Takata is readying to file for bankruptcy following its faulty airbags led to the largest safety recall in car-making industry. The company's airbag recall is the largest automotive recall in USA history.
If you think your auto or truck might have recalled airbag inflators, check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by entering its vehicle identification number, or VIN, here.
Exploding Takata airbag inflators have been blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 150 injuries worldwide. In the same month, a grand jury indicted three former executives for criminal wrongdoing in connection with the safety defects.
The Japanese component supplier has so far, paid $25 million as fine and $125 million to to a victim compensation fund, which includes vistims from any incidents that might occur in the future. Mounting liabilities from having to replace more than 100 million of the devices forced Takata to seek an acquirer that could help see through the costly restructuring process.
Inflator recalls began around 2008 and involve around 100 million inflators around the world used in vehicles made by 19 automakers, including Honda Motor Co, Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Tesla Inc.
Takata airbag inflator recalls are expected to continue through at least the end of 2019. "Presumably, Takata will continue manufacturing airbags throughout the bankruptcy proceedings".
This filing could arrive in the coming week both in Japan and the U.S., where it has a subsidiary and is looking for a buyer. "That will be a daunting task", she continued.
"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".