Takata Corporation, the Japanese automotive parts supplier of seat belts and airbag maker, has officially filed for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the United States. The announcement came from Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada during a conference. He also apologized for the company's demise due to the airbag inflator recall prior.
Meanwhile, U.S. supplier Key Safety Systems (KSS) will be buying essentially all of Takata's global assets and operations for a reported $1.59 billion US. Takada explained that the company had no other choice but to sell their assets in order to cover the potential liabilities from the lawsuits. He further added that if they were to leave things as is, Takata might not be able to raise funds and continue on with production.
“Takata has deep management talent, a dedicated work force and a long history of exceptional customer service. 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,” says Jason Luo, President & CEO of KSS.
KSS has currently laid out plans and says to continue to support Takata's customers, employees, and “honor Takata’s Japanese heritage.” The company promises to retain all Takata employees and operations in Japan to be maintained.
In 2018, Takata is expected to the pay a penalty amounting to $1 billion with the U.S. Justice Department. Apart from the penalty, Takata still has to handle the liabilities with regards to automakers involving recalls and other such settlements all involving the airbag recalls. KSS expects the transaction closure between them and Takata to occur in the first quarter of 2018.