The Wall Street Journal reports that Takata Corporation is close to settling with the U.S. Department of Justice over criminal misconduct allegations connected to its defective air bag inflators.
Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, the Journal indicated that the resolution could cost the Japanese company as much as $1 billion and require the automotive parts supplier to admit to criminal wrongdoing.
The settlement is expected to be reached as early as January, with Takata likely to commit to paying a portion of the penalty immediately and the remainder over time.
Air bag inflators produced by Takata can potentially explode when subjected to extreme force in hot, humid conditions. The faulty inflators have been attributed to 11 deaths and more than 184 injuries in the United States.
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