1. Business
June 26, 2017updated 30 Jun 2017 4:29pm

Airbag-maker responsible for biggest ever product recall goes bankrupt

Japanese car parts maker Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan on the weekend.

Takata, responsible for the car industry’s biggest ever product recall faces billions of dollars in liabilities over its defective airbags.

More than 100m cars with Takata airbags, including around 70m vehicles in the US have been recalled since 2007.

In 2004, the first airbag produced by Takata exploded, injuring the driver of a Honda Accord in Alabama.

Takata shares have been falling steadily, collapsing by 95 percent since January 2014.

Takata Americas, the firm’s US arm, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware on Sunday with liabilities of $10bn to $50bn.

The Japanese parent company and its subsidiaries filed for protection with the Tokyo District Court early on Monday.

Takata’s airbags, some of which contained faulty inflators have been responsible for at least 17 deaths globally.

US-based Key Safety Systems (KSS) acquired all of Takata’s assets, apart from those relating to the airbags in a $1.6bn (£1.3bn) deal, announced immediately after the company filed for bankruptcy in Japan and the US.

KSS chief executive Jason Luo 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 have not diminished.

KSS will keep “substantially all” of Takata’s 60,000 employees in 23 countries and maintain its factories in Japan, Reuters reported.

The twin bankruptcy processes will be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

Takata was founded 84 years ago, but only started producing airbags in 1987.

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