27 Jun

Takata files for bankruptcy after fallout from air bag inflator recalls


Auburn Hills, Mich.—June 27, 2017—After an extensive series of recalls and with repairs still needed, Takata is officially filing for bankruptcy. This recall, which many have referred to as the largest of its kind in U.S. history, has affected several major manufacturers and addresses a concern involving dangerous air bag inflator systems, which could rupture and has had fatal repercussions.

The Bankruptcy

The New York Times reported that the bankruptcy is a direct response to the mounting costs of the recall. Though the manufacturer plans to fix the recalled vehicles, it reportedly has as much as $50 billion in liabilities to contend with.

As a result, the major manufacturers taking part in this recall will have to pay the remaining costs, the source said, potentially offsetting what Takata is unable to complete. Takata also owes $125 million to victims of the defect.

The Takata airbag recalls have been official news for more than two years, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing the decision as far back as May 19, 2015, according to a recall timeline for the action on its website.

State of Completion

As of May 26, the NHTSA, listed more than 30 vehicle brand names as part of the Takata-related recall efforts. Of these, Honda boasted the highest completion rate, with nearly 66 percent of its driver-side air bags repaired, compared to 52 percent of its passenger side air bags, adding up to more than 58 percent of the total amount.

On the other end of the spectrum is Mercedes Benz, which had completed just 1.8 percent of its necessary repairs, which solely consisted of driver-side air bags.

More than 7.9 million driver side air bags were complete of this time. The overall repair rate for these air bags improved between April 28 and May 26, growing by nearly 1 full percentage point after increasing again by that same amount between April and March.

The passenger side air bag completion rate also grew between April and May, but unlike the driver side repair rate, dropped between March and April. The total air bag repair rate followed a similar pattern and was 38.1 percent as of May 26.

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