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Takata shares surge on report of settlement with US

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Shares in struggling auto parts maker Takata surged Friday following a report the company and US authorities could announce later in the day a settlement over deadly exploding airbags.

[TOKYO] Shares in struggling auto parts maker Takata surged Friday following a report the company and US authorities could announce later in the day a settlement over deadly exploding airbags.

The final agreement with the Japanese airbag maker may include criminal charges and a fine of up to US$1 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Takata shares rose more than 16 per cent in the first half hour of trading, taking gains since late last month to about 75 per cent as investors bet on the two sides striking a deal.

Some 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled worldwide over a defect that can send metal and plastic shrapnel from the inflator canister hurtling toward drivers and passengers when an airbag is deployed.

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The problem has been linked to more than a dozen deaths worldwide and scores of injuries.

US regulators have said the defect is more dangerous in southern parts of the United States with warmer and more humid climates.

Nearly every major carmaker has been forced to recall cars because of the fault, including General Motors, Honda, BMW and Tesla.

In November 2015, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imposed a record US$200 million civil fine against Takata for providing inadequate and inaccurate information to regulators about the defect.

AFP

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