Airbag maker Takata dives 25 pc on bankruptcy fears

TOKYO: Takata shares plunged again on Wednesday, losing almost half of their value in just three days of trading on reports the troubled Japanese airbag maker will file for bankruptcy protection and sell its assets to a US company.
Takata, at the centre of the auto industry’s biggest-ever safety recall, finished at 244 yen ($2.20), tumbling by nearly 25 per cent — its maximum daily loss limit — on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after eye-popping falls on Monday and Tuesday.
The Nikkei business daily has said the company, with liabilities exceeding one trillion yen ($9 billion), would make a formal decision about the bankruptcy filing at a board meeting this month.
American autoparts maker Key Safety Systems, owned by China’s Ningbo Joyson Electronic, will take over the firm’s operations, the Nikkei’s report on Friday said.
The board of Takata’s US-based unit TK Holdings is expected to approve a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy there this month, it added.
Some other media reports said Takata’s major automaker clients support the bankruptcy plan.
Takata has already agreed to pay a billion-dollar fine to settle lawsuits in the United States over its defective airbags, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and scores of injuries globally.
The Tokyo-based firm was suspended from trading on Friday pending a response to the Nikkei story and other similar reports.
Later on Friday Takata said that no decision had been made but “all options” were on the table.
The shares plunged when they started trading again on Monday.
As on Monday and Tuesday, the shares went untraded for most of Wednesday session’s since the number of sell orders swamped buy orders.
Nearly 100 million cars, including about 70 million in the United States, were subject to the airbag recall, the largest in auto history, over the defective Takata airbags.— AFP