It seems like one part of the ongoing Takata saga might be nearing an end. The Wall Street Journal reports that Takata is preparing a deal with federal prosecutors that could lead to a $1 billion settlement. The settlement could be reached sometime early in 2017. Takata would have to plead guilty to criminal misconduct, as well.
The settlement payout would be broken up, with part paid up front and the rest broken up over a number of years. The company has lost a significant amount of money dealing with both the recalls and the surrounding lawsuits. In the US, 19 automakers have recalled about 42 million vehicles with affected airbags. A lack of alternatives meant brand new, 2016 model-year cars were being sold with airbags that would eventually fail.
Prosecutors are also considering charging Takata with wire fraud, stating that Takata likely misinformed customers like Honda about the safety of the airbags. Takata allegedly withheld information about the ruptured airbags releasing shrapnel. In America, 11 deaths and 184 injuries have been linked to Takata airbags. Takata has admitted that it failed to notify regulators that there was a safety issue within the five-day window.
The recall is the largest in US automotive history. The Wall Street Journal believes that officials are attempting to wrap up the case before Donald Trump takes office in January.