Potential next steps as Takata bankruptcy reports surface

The Tokyo Stock Exchange has suspended trading in shares of Takata following the reports of pending bankruptcy.

Takata's liabilities are seen surpassing 1 trillion yen ($9.02 billion) after a huge global recall of air bags connected to deadly explosions.

The major problem now faced by Takata is that, a deal with Key Safety Systems might not become reality until Takata files for bankruptcy, which is exactly what the company has chose to do. US vehicle safety regulators are putting pressure on Takata and automakers to speed up the replacement of defective inflators in the United States.

Takata has not commented on its alleged plans to file for bankruptcy.

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As advocates say "hundreds of thousands" of drivers are behind the wheel of vehicles with defective airbags in places like Riverside County in California, multiple online media reports surfaced this week that the maker of those defective airbags - Takata - is expected to file for bankruptcy this month.

Reuters reports that 65 percent of the 46.2 million passenger vehicles recalled for defective Takata airbag inflators in the U.S. have not yet been repaired. Michigan-based Key, owned by Chinese supplier Ningbo Joyson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Takata agreed in February to pay $1 billion in penalties to the Justice Department and plead guilty to wire fraud.

A US judge said earlier this year the costs of replacing all of the faulty Takata inflators could be $8 billion. Takata airbag inflators have been found responsible for 16 deaths and and more than 180 injuries worldwide.

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Takata is expected to file for bankruptcy before selling its production operations to a newly formed company to pay off its debts to creditors, according to Nikkei.

The Japanese component supplier has so far, paid $25 million as fine and $125 million to to a victim compensation fund, which includes vistims from any incidents that might occur in the future.

Inflator recalls began around 2008 and involve around 100 million inflators around the world used in vehicles made by 19 automakers, including Honda Motor Co, Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Tesla Inc.

Last month, four automakers including Toyota and BMW agreed to pay $553 million to settle a United States lawsuit over the airbags. The proceedings for filing of bankruptcy is to begin shortly in the United States and in Japan.

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Almost 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 blamed for 11 deaths in the USA alone.

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