Plagued by airbag recall, Takata files for bankruptcy

The auto parts maker will be bought out by competitor Key Safety Systems. A company chairman apologized to reporters for ‘caus[ing] troubles for [its] supporters.’

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On Sunday, Takata announced that competitor Key Safety Systems will acquire it in a $1.6 billion deal. The company faces billions of dollars in lawsuits connecting to its airbag recall, and its American division filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware, where it claimed liabilities of $10 billion to $50 billion.

The New York Times reported:

Shigehisa Takada, the chief executive, said the Takada family would cease to be involved in the business once the sale was completed. It was unclear when exactly that would be, however. Antitrust regulators in multiple markets must approve the deal, which would give Key Safety Systems about a quarter of the global airbag market, making it the second-largest supplier in an industry dominated by just a handful of companies.

Takata’s downfall began about 10 years ago, when it was discovered that defective airbag inflators were linked to as many as 17 deaths worldwide.

“We caused troubles for our supporters, those who cooperated with us and the creditors,” chairman Shigehisa Takada told reports at a news conference. “On behalf of Takata, I apologize deeply from the bottom of my heart.”

Takada bowed to the reporters before leaving.

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