Just hours after three former executives were charged with manipulating test results to cover up its defective airbag inflators, Japan’s Takata Corp indicated that it would plead guilty to charges of criminal wrongdoing and pay $1 billion in penalties.
The deal aims to resolve a U.S. Justice Department investigation into actions that have been connected with 16 deaths worldwide and led to the largest automotive safety recall in the history of the industry.
Under the terms of the settlement, Takata will be required to pay a $25 million fine, contribute $125 million to compensate victims and $80 million to cover the recall costs of manufacturers. The company will also be forced to make operational reforms and be monitored for a period of three years.
According to the Justice Department, Takata began submitting falsified test reports to automakers in 2000, contributing to the sale of more than $1 billion worth of the faulty airbag inflators.
U.S. regulators have acknowledged that recalls related to the airbag inflators have involved 19 automotive manufacturers and may affect as many as 42 million vehicles.
Read full article at: Reuters »