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The Chinese auto parts manufacturing giant is to takeover airbag maker Takata, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Japan on June 26.
Takata has been facing several difficulties with the biggest being a recall for faulty airbags in the company’s history. Over 100 million cars with Takata airbags, of which around 70 million in the U.S., are reported to have been recalled since concerns first emerged in 2007. In January 2017, the Japanese manufacturer agreed to pay US$1 billion in penalties in the U.S. for concealing dangerous defects, and pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge.
Takata, which faces liabilities of around JPY1.7 trillion (US$15 billion) according to Tokyo Shoko Research, said TK Holdings, its U.S. operation, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware with liabilities of US$10 billion to US$50 billion, while the Japanese parent company filed for protection with the Tokyo District Court. The manufacturer agreed to be largely acquired for US$1.6 billion by the Chinese-owned and U.S. based Key Safety Systems, wholly owned by Ningbo Joyson and acquired by the Chinese Group in 2016 for US$920 million.
The deal is said to be structured to protect Key Safety from bearing the cost of Takata’s estimated recall of 100 million units due to faulty air-bag inflators linked to at least 17 deaths.