Takata Pleads Guilty in Airbag Scheme
Feb. 28, 2017—Takata Corp. has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, and agreed to pay $1 billion for concealing a defect in millions of its airbag inflators, which have been linked to 11 deaths.
The decision played out in a federal courtroom in Detroit on Monday, when Takata's finance chief, Yoichiro Nomura, entered the guilty plea on the company's behalf during court proceedings, calling the actions of his employees "deeply inappropriate."
The penalties include $850 million in restitution to the car companies and $125 million for victims, with $25 million for the actual criminal penalty. Takata's fine to the government could have been as much as $1.5 billion, reports the Associated Press, but the judge in the case said such a sum would most likely put the company out of business.
With the criminal settlement and penalties set in the United States, where the majority of air bag-related fatalities and injuries have occurred, Reuters reports that Takata is expected to continue its search for a buyer or financial backer, a process which has dragged on for a year.