Takata seeks US bankruptcy protection to stay airbag suits
WASHINGTON: Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp filed for United States bankruptcy protection on Wednesday in an effort to pause suits against the company over faulty airbag inflators — more than a month after its US unit filed for bankruptcy in the same court.
In its filing with the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Takata said the Chapter 15 petition was critical to ensure the “continuation of Takata’s business, preserving tens of thousands of jobs and ensuring that Takata’s business partners continue to have access to critical components that ensure the safety of drivers worldwide”.
The petition came as Takata’s US business separately asked a federal bankruptcy judge to suspend suits against carmakers that have been brought by airbag victims.
Major carmakers including BMW AG, Ford Motor Co , Honda Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp sided with Takata in backing a six-month delay in suits.
TK Holdings Inc, the company’s primary US unit, filed for Chapter 11 protection in June along with 11 other US and Mexican entities, coinciding with Takata Corp’s bankruptcy filing in Japan.
Takata said it faces tens of billions of dollars in liabilities from its inflators, which are subject to the biggest recall in automotive history.
At least 18 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide have been tied to a defect that can cause Takata inflators to explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.
The Chapter 15 filing seeks to stay suits against Takata Corp as well. An initial court hearing on the new petition is set for today. Reuters
Takata says the Chapter 15 petition is critical to ensure the continuation of business, preserve jobs and ensure its business partners continue to have access to critical components.