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Report: Japan's Airbag Maker Target of Takeover Effort

  • VOA News

CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) Henry Kravis (C) departs after meeting in the Manhattan borough of New York on Sept. 29, 2014. A report says Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is seeking a 60% stake in the family-owned firm boosted shares of Takata more than 21% higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) Henry Kravis (C) departs after meeting in the Manhattan borough of New York on Sept. 29, 2014. A report says Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is seeking a 60% stake in the family-owned firm boosted shares of Takata more than 21% higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

A U.S. investment firm is reportedly offering to acquire control of embattled Japanese manufacturer Takata Corporation, which is burdened with a massive recall of defective automobile airbags.

A report in Thursday's edition of the Nikkei business newspaper that said Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is seeking a 60 percent stake in the family-owned firm boosted shares of Takata more than 21 percent higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

FILE - Stephanie Erdman, an Air Force 1st lieutenant, describes her experience when she was injured by metal fragments from a defective airbag made by Takata of Japan as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 20, 2014.

FILE - Stephanie Erdman, an Air Force 1st lieutenant, describes her experience when she was injured by metal fragments from a defective airbag made by Takata of Japan as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 20, 2014.

Massive recall

Defective airbags manufactured by Takata have led to a massive recall of tens of millions of automobiles around the world. The bags have been linked to the deaths of 13 people in the United States and Malaysia.

The chemicals that power the airbag have been found to deteriorate spontaneously with prolonged exposure to high humidity, causing the airbag to deploy far more forcefully than normal and sending metal and plastic shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

The U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has imposed a record $200 million fine on Takata for failing to warn the public and government about the faulty bags.

The agency has also ordered carmakers to recall an additional 40 million more airbags, on top of the 50 million that have already been ordered off the streets.

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