Japanese auto parts supplier Takata has filed for bankruptcy after multiple wrongful-death lawsuits based on its company’s faulty airbag inflators. The company announced it was filing for bankruptcy protection on June 26.
The company’s airbags are implicated in 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries so far.
The airbag inflators aged badly, and, particularly in hot or humid climates, had a tendency to explode with too much force, sending shrapnel though drivers and passengers.
The company has recalled 100 million airbags so far. Sixty-nine million of those were in U.S. vehicles, some 42 million cars.
This was and still is the largest recall in American automotive history—recalls and replacements are ongoing.
The recalls and replacements are being done by the individual dealerships for each manufacturer—19 different manufacturers—and all the bills are being sent to Takata.
Takata’s assets have been bought up by rival airbag maker Key Safety Systems of Detroit, Michigan. Key paid $1.6 billion for the company’s asset—its factories, it stocks of parts, and materials.
Key Safety will continue to replace faulty airbag inflators made by Takata.
Takata will spend much of its sale price on reimbursing automakers. Experts agree, though, that those automakers will end up paying for a lot of the costs out of their own pockets.