Settlement related to defective Takata airbag system reached

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) - Attorney General Brad Schimel announced a settlement with TK Holdings, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Takata, over allegations that the company concealed safety issues.

The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 44 states and the District of Columbia and TK Holdings, Inc., concludes a multistate investigation into the company's failure to timely disclose known safety defects associated with certain airbag inflators using phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate as a propellant, according to a news release.

“Knowingly putting people at risk of serious injury or death is shocking and egregious,” said Attorney General Schimel. “This settlement is another example of the success a bipartisan multistate group of attorneys general can have in holding companies accountable for their actions that harm consumers and put public safety in jeopardy.”

More than 50 million airbags in more than 37 million vehicles have been recalled to date, with anticipated recalls through the end of 2019, bringing the total number of affected airbags to around 65 to 70 million.

Under the consent decree and settlement agreement, which was approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, TK Holdings, Inc. and its successor, Reorganized TK Holdings, shall:

-   Not advertise or otherwise represent the safety of its airbag systems or phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate in any way that is false, deceptive, or misleading;
-   Not represent that its airbags are safe unless supported by competent and reliable scientific or engineering evidence;
-   Not falsify or manipulate testing data, or provide any testing data that the companies know is inaccurate;
-   Except as needed to fulfill its obligations under the various recalls, sell any airbag systems using PSAN as a propellant;
-   Comply with state and federal law as well as the NHTSA Consent Order and Coordinated Remedy Order; and

-   Continue to cooperate with auto manufacturers to ensure that replacement airbag inflators are made available as expeditiously as possible from all possible sources.

TK Holdings, Inc. has also agreed to reimburse the multistate for its investigative costs, and for the entry of stipulated civil penalty in the amount of $650 million.

Details of the settlement can be found below.

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