Takata sets aside $35M for US lawsuits; inquiry drags on
As Takata continues to wait for ‘final results’ from an ongoing third-party inquiry, an additional $35 million charge has been deducted from its latest quarterly earnings to prepare for expected litigation costs in the US.
German research firm Fraunhofer Institute has submitted preliminary findings, however the investigators have not yet finalized their interpretation of potential culpability on both sides.
Such findings are expected to play an important role in negotiations between the supplier and automakers. Takata initially resisted pressure to spearhead the recalls, instead expecting automakers to orchestrate the defect declarations and cover a significant portion of the repair costs.
“If these were the final results, we could enter the stage of discussing cost sharing, but these results are not final,” Takata spokesman Toyohiro Hishikawa said in a statement to Reuters.
Honda last month released findings of its own audit, accusing Takata of “numerous examples of data manipulation.” The public declaration was interpreted as a thinly-veiled threat, hinting at a potential legal argument that may be heard in court if the parties cannot agree on cost sharing terms.
Analysts are closely following the situation, which could threaten Takata’s financial viability. Recent reports suggest the Japanese supplier is actively seeking buyers, however many potential suitors are presumably wary of the financial uncertainties.