Takata pleads guilty, agrees to pay $1B in faulty airbag probe

Takata pleads guilty, agrees to pay $1B in faulty airbag probe

Takata pleads guilty, agrees to pay $1B in faulty airbag probe

The automotive industry finally is ready to put one of the largest safety-related recalls ever behind it. In an official statement the company denied that it was considering restructuring.

According to the federal government, Takata knew that its ammonium nitrate-based airbag inflators were not performing to the specifications required by the auto manufacturers.

The problem sparked the biggest recall in U.S. automotive history, involving 19 automakers, 42 million vehicles and up to 69 million inflators - worldwide, the total number of inflators being recalled is more than 100 million. The defects have led 10 auto makers to recall more than 31 million vehicles worldwide since 2008. When exposed to moisture in the air over years, the propellant can degrade and rupture the metal inflator canister if it ignites with too much pressure. The hearing will be conducted by U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh.

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USA prosecutors have charged three senior Takata executive in Japan. Shinichi Tanaka, executive VP of Inflator Global Operations, Hideo Nakajima, director of engineering of automotive systems laboratory and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, chief of Japan, Inflator Global Operations have all been charged with five counts of wire fraud and one conspiracy count in a scheme to hide the defect in air bag inflators.

Honda said the plaintiffs' court filing contained "false assertions that Honda and other manufacturers behaved irresponsibly" and represented a "transparent effort" to maintain legal claims despite Takata admitting to deceiving the Japanese auto maker and other vehicle companies.

For example, the New York Times reports that Toyota continued to use the auto part maker's airbags following a 2003 rupture of an airbag in a vehicle that was undergoing lab tests. He handled General Motors Co.'s ignition switch fund, as well as compensation for victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and BP Plc's 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

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As part of the recently closed deal with the U.S. Justice Department, Takata created two independently administered restitution funds in January.

A Takata spokesman declined to comment.

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