Takata settles air-bag claims

Takata Corp has reached a settlement with two groups representing victims of its faulty air bags, paving the way for the company to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy and move forward with a reorganisation plan, according to court documents.

Two committees for people suing over the air bags have agreed to support a bankruptcy-exit plan that would resolve lawsuits by channeling them into a trust funded in part by the sale of Takata assets.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and crushing recall costs involving the air bags. 

Takata has recalled millions of air bags that had been linked to deaths in the U.S. Defective air bags can explode in car crashes, sending metal shards flying. At least 16 people have died and more than 180 have been injured due to the problem, which has touched off the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history.

More than 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.

The Japan-based company entered a guilty plea last year as part of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over the air-bag problems.

Thirteen automakers have joined the agreement, including General Motors and Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. The manufacturers, which are both Takata’s largest customers and biggest creditors, are indemnified in their agreements with Takata from losses and liabilities related to the air bag inflators.
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