Takata bankruptcy means air bag victims get less

Takata bankruptcy means air bag victims get less

Takata might be getting nearer to its end.

Honda Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo said at a media briefing on Friday that the automaker hasn't heard any specifics about the Takata bankruptcy plan.

Analysts have long warned that Takata may be forced into bankruptcy due to the huge cost of the deadly scandal, which resulted in the recall of tens of millions of vehicles around the world.

The defective inflators for airbags made by Takata that can explode then send shrapnel into both drivers and passengers were blamed for 11 deaths across the US and several more in other parts of the world.

Takata would stop making airbag inflators after it completes production of replacement parts and fulfills existing supply contracts for them with vehicle maker clients, Reuters reported last week.

Takata could be rescued by the U.S. firm Key Safety Systems Inc, which will buy a part of the company's assets. Takata announced back in February it was holding negotiations to sell its business to Key Safety Systems based in Detroit, Michigan, which is owned by a company based in China. Takata has repeatedly said it's in the process of reviewing its inflator business and a consortium led by Key Safety will also involve Daicel Corp., a Japanese maker of inflators which would participated as a production partner.

In a statement late Friday, Takata said that "all options are being considered" for its restructuring and that "no decision of any kind has been made".

Shares of the company have dropped in value by more than 50% during 2017. They're worth only about an eighth as much as they were in early 2014.

During January, Takata filed a guilty plea to criminal charges by prosecutors in the USA and agreed it would pay a fine of $1 billion. Most of that money went to carmakers who have been handling the airbag repairs.

Three former executives at Takata were charged by US prosecutors with conspiracy and wire fraud in relation to sales of the airbags with the exploding air inflators.