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Business

Takata shares hit by bankruptcy reports

Shares of Japanese airbag maker Takata have taken another dive after media reports suggested the company might soon file for bankruptcy. Carmakers around the globe may face billions of dollars in costs.

Takata shares nosedived on Tuesday, with the stock of the Japanese airbag producer shedding nearly 11 percent of its value at the start of trading to end the day down 7.46 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Takata, hit by the auto industry's biggest-ever safety recall over potentially dangerous inflators, was considering filing for bankruptcy in the United States, the "Wall Street Journal" had reported.

Tokyo investors only had a chance to react to that report Tuesday after returning from a three-day weekend.

The report suggested Takata was weighing a US bankruptcy "as one option" as it faced huge compensation costs over a defect linked to 16 deaths and scores of injuries globally, but mainly in the US and Malaysia.

Takeover bids

Some 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled due to the defect, which can send metal and plastic shrapnel from the inflator canister hurtling toward drivers and passengers when an airbag is deployed.

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Takata fined millions over airbags

Last month, Takata's shares plunged after Bloomberg News said private equity firms and auto parts makers were preparing offers for the company.

Takata is now reported to be considering bids from a string of firms, including US buyout company KKR & Co. and bumper supplier Flex-N-Gate.

The airbag maker's customers, including Honda, Volkswagen and General Motors, could face billions of dollars in costs linked to the recall and legal liabilities.

hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)

 

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