Takata may declare bankruptcy


#1

This USA Today article discusses the possibility that Takata declare bankruptcy. I don’t think that would leave owners of vehicles without replacement airbags without recourse. The auto manufacturers are still on the hook IMO to fix all remaining vehicles they built if Takata can’t make good on the repairs. Any comments?


#2

I’m just glad none of my cars has a recalled airbag

You make your bed, now go lie in it

Same as Volkswagen :smiling_imp:


#3

In what POSSIBLE way are the two companies equivalent?!

VW set out to defraud the EPA (whether or not that is justifiable “civil disobedience” is the topic of another thread.)

Takata tired, in good faith, to make affordable and reliable air bags for safety. It turned out (10 years down the road and ultimately unforeseeable, except with “20/20 hindsight”) that the airbag formulation aged poorly.

Frankly, I wonder what took Takata so long! I would have exploited the protections of the bankruptcy court a LONG time ago.


#4

Frankly, I’m also surprised that Takata has not already sent their lawyers to the courthouse with bankruptcy papers.


#5

I’m surprised they hung on that long. There really was/is no way to profitability in the near years to come.


#6

Because they both knowingly cut corners and built garbage, and now they have do deal with the consequences

THAT is how the companies are equivalent


#7

Takata tried to keep stonewall the NHTSA investigation. That is more like Toyota with the unintended acceleration issue.


#8

With all due respect, @db4690, Takata may not have “cut corners” on the design. This problem did not occur until the inflators were old and exposed to moist environments. If age was the major problem, then testing for that in a lab is very, very tough, Accelerated corrosion testing doesn’t always give the same results as actual time in the field.

Not defending Takata’s subsequent actions of stone-walling NHTSA, but they have been busting tail for a few years to right this mess. Bankruptcy in the US for TK Holdings is unlikely to end the company, just shed debt. Very different to bankruptcy in Japan which I think only allows liquidation.


#9

According to the article, Takata is filing Chapter 11. Be it known that Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a reorganization and not a liquidation. If a manufacturer has the proper relationship with its customer base, and a large enough customer base, it can recover from a chapter 11 filing. Many have.

In Takata’s case, if the customer base doesn’t cooperate with Takata they themselves will end up with the entire burden of a possible subsequent chapter 7. Takata’s customers will, I suspect, be more than willing to cooperate in order to not absorb the entire blow. “Cooperate” in a chapter 11 means accepting some reduced value on the dollar owed.


#10

My general understanding is that the_same_mountainbik is correct. I have heard/read that the automakers are willing to even prop up Takata in bankruptcy with financial support so the replacement parts can be created to fill the need. I worked at a company that supplied a company that declared bankruptcy in the past. The relationship can be civil and continue, or it can be discontinued by the suppliers who don’t have to offer credit. Selling COD and cash in advance is barely workable in the real world. The tricky part will be getting Takatas suppliers to play along. Its customers really have no choice. From an engineering standpoint, I consider Takata part of the automakers. It is their role and responsibility to vett the suppliers they work with, and to become satisfied with the QC and life-cycle design process the suppliers they work with use. When I hear “Takata” I think “Honda”, “Toyota”, etc.


#11

From what I hear, their inflators were built using specs and materials that other manufacturers don’t use

I’m no kind of scientist and engineer, but it seems that Takata strayed from the pack in their construction, and it didn’t pan out


#12

That may be that their design is just different than other companies. Manufacturers give specs to the supplier and designs to those specs using whatever material they deem prudent. Not surprising they differ. ABS from Continental is different that the Bosch ABS unit but they are designed to the same spec.

Its hard to get a good technical answer when reading about this. One of the few I saw from SaferCar.gov described the degradation of the propellant such that it creates a more spontaneous (i.e. faster) ignition than designed causing rupture of the case.

Yes, it didn’t pan out. The engineers that designed the Tacoma Narrows bridge made errors, too. They just found out about it much faster. It happens. The real measure is what a company does about it. And Takata messed that up big time.


#13

Ammonium nitrate is a hell of a chemical…it’s commonly used as a replacement for HE such as nitroglycerine/TNT because it’s “not an explosive; it’s a detonating agent, and won’t explode unless specific conditions are met.”

And then, you have Galveston, TX, and plenty of industrial accidents since, where it DOES explode without an initiator. So, AN “deflagrates, but doesn’t spontaneously explode…[except when it does]?”


#14

They acted out of self-preservation. An oversight having less financial impact might be treated differently than one that is sure to bankrupt the organization. It would be corporate suicide to respond in a way that meets typical consumer expectations. A soon as they realized the magnitude of the situation, they likely went into a mode to prevent total destruction of the company. People fall on swords, corporations never do- willingly…


#15

I agree with your assessment. I condemn many of those things Takata did to hide the problem. But I think I can understand why they acted they way they did.

Maybe I view those kinds of actions differently than some. The execs were trying to save not only their own jobs but those of the thousands of employees that worked for Takata and the thousands more affected by a possible Takata closing. Not to mention supporting their customers who would be left in a nasty spot replacing supplier Takata. Its a heavy burden to place on any exec. We can vilify them in hindsight but put yourself in their place and think about what you’d do when faced with those problems.


#16

The instinct for self preservation is understandable, and probably the best reason to have NHTSA to protect us from the deep pockets of large businesses that can more effectively stonewall individual citizens much better than they can big government. I’m willing to have the inefficiencies associated with big government to get that protection.


#17

Yeah, but they didn’t know that IN ADVANCE. Remember, at the time, air bags were expected to have ~10 year durability. Ever see in the owner’s manual “After 10 years, return to authorized repair facility for inspection?”

And if nobody EVER “strayed from the pack,” we’d never invent newer, faster, cheaper, better ways of doing stuff.


#18

Trust me on this one. I’ve been through both chapter 11 and chapter 7.


#19

As a matter of fact, yes I HAVE seen something along those lines

Fine

do things your way. Never mind you may be the only one doing things that way

If you get seriously hurt, don’t complain to us


#20

…and yet you feel qualified to judge. I mean, I’ll judge a quarterback’s performance critically, after the fact…but I’m wise enough to know I probably wouldn’t do a better job of “staying in the damn pocket, and finding the open receiver.”

Easy to be a “Monday-morning quarterback.”