Japan's Takata, maker of defective air bags that have been linked to 11 deaths in the U.S., could settle criminal charges with the U.S. Department of Justice before the Obama administration leaves office next month, a source told Reuters. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Takata could settle criminal charges with the U.S. Department of Justice before the Obama administration leaves office next month, a source told Reuters The defective air bags made by the Japanese company have been linked to 11 deaths in the U.S. The DOJ has been investigating whether information was kept from safety regulators and the company issued misleading statements about the dangers posed by the air bags. Part of a settlement would include Takata pleading guilty to criminal misconduct, the source said, and, most likely, installing a monitor to ensure Takata's compliance with the agreement. Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader. (SOUNDBITE) MICHELLE KREBS, SENIOR ANALYST, AUTOTRADER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Takata air bag situation has dragged down for a long time, even after the settlement, that is expected, it will continue to drag down, because there're many, many airbags out there that still need to be repaired, and consumers, we've got to figure out a way for consumers to be lured into dealerships, to take this recall seriously, and get these repaired." An earlier report from the Wall Street journal had said the settlement could be as much as a billion dollars- but Reuters' source says it will be "considerably less".