Last week, Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and Japan after being flooded with lawsuits and recall costs for its faulty airbag inflators. Takata airbags are linked to 180 injuries and 16 deaths.
Takata airbags can become over-pressurized, causing them to rupture and propel pieces of metal into the cabin of a car. Takata used a highly unstable and combustible chemical compound, ammonium nitrate, to deploy its airbags. The compound can burn too quickly under certain conditions, causing its metal canister to explode.
Because of this issue, 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled internationally. This recall impacts 42 million vehicles in the U.S. As of April, far less than half of the recalls in the U.S. had been replaced. The recall affects 34 car brands, including Ford, Toyota and Honda.
After issues with the airbags arose, Takata pleaded guilty in February for falsifying reports to automakers and testing data.
According to The Oregonian, Detroit-based Key Safety Systems plans to purchase Takata’s assets for $1.6 billion. Portions of the funds from the sale will be used for Takata’s settlement, including $125 million to help victims of the explosive airbags.
Takata has stated that vehicles affected by the recall will still be repaired, despite the company’s sale.
To see if your vehicle is included in the Takata airbag safety recall, go to www.recalls.gov.