The agreement was outlined in documents filed in a Delaware bankruptcy court on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Two groups representing plaintiffs in Takata airbag lawsuits have dropped their opposition to the restructuring plan, and the remainder of complaints will be resolved through a trust fund, per the settlement agreement.
Takata was forced into bankruptcy last summer amid a groundswell of litigation, astronomical fines, and seemingly never-ending recall costs associated with the defective airbag inflators. According to the restructuring plan, the vast majority of Takata’s assets will be sold off to a Chinese rival for $1.6 billion.
Just hours before the settlement agreement was finalized, however, Ford announced that it was expanding an earlier recall to include 33,000 Ranger pickups and Mazda B-series trucks to fix Takata airbags, indicating that the fallout from the crisis is far from over.
Takata in January 2017 pled guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay the U.S. Justice Department $1 billion for mishandling the reporting of its faulty airbags inflators. The company also pled guilty to wire fraud for falsifying data on the airbags to automakers who installed them in their vehicles. The company paid another $25 million in fines to U.S. regulators and $850 million to U.S. automakers to cover recall expenses.
At least 20 people have died and nearly 200 others injured by airbag inflators that exploded with too much force, ejecting shrapnel into the cabin. At least 42 million vehicles and as many as 70 million inflators have been recalled in the U.S., with figures topping 100 million inflators recalled worldwide.