Takata, injured drivers reach deal to likely end U.S. bankruptcy


WILMINGTON, Del. — Takata Corp.’s U.S. unit reached a settlement with its creditors, lawyers for those injured by its deadly airbags and automakers that should smooth the way to end its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell its viable operations, according to court papers.

The Japanese company’s airbags can explode with too much force and have been linked to at least 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries globally, prompting the largest recall in automotive history and forcing Takata and its U.S. unit, TK Holdings Inc., into bankruptcy.

The U.S. unit was gearing up for a court fight starting on Tuesday to get approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy over the opposition of a committee for injured drivers and a separate committee of unsecured creditors.

But those two committees, automakers and Key Safety Systems, which is acquiring the viable business lines of Takata, reached a deal that resolves the biggest objections to the plan, according to court documents filed on Saturday.

Under the agreement, a trust will be established to pay compensation for those injured or killed by the airbags, which will be funded in part by automakers surrendering some of their claims against Takata.

The 13 automakers which joined the agreement include General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and the U.S. affiliates of Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG.

An amended plan of reorganization will be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court soon, according to Takata’s U.S. unit.

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