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Japan Airbag Maker Takata Warns of Bigger Loss on Recalls

Feb. 5, 2015
About 20 million vehicles produced by some of the world's biggest automakers are being recalled due to the risk their Takata-made airbags.

TOKYO - Embattled airbag maker Takata, whose parts have been linked to at least five deaths globally, on Thursday warned it was facing a bigger-than-expected full-year loss because of soaring recall costs.

About 20 million vehicles produced by some of the world's biggest automakers are being recalled due to the risk their Takata-made airbags could deploy with excessive explosive power, spraying potentially fatal shrapnel into the vehicle.

The Japanese company said it was expecting to lose 31 billion yen ($265 million) in the fiscal year to the end of March, worse than the earlier 25 billion yen estimate.

The revision largely reflects an extraordinary loss of 53 billion yen related to potential recall costs.

For the nine months to December, it suffered a loss of 32.5 billion yen, reversing the net profit of 8.8 billion yen a year earlier.

That was despite a 15.6% rise in sales to 469.9 billion yen, thanks to the effects of a weak yen.

Last week, Honda cut its full-year profit forecast by 3.5% to 545 billion yen as the auto maker grapples with growing recall costs, including from the exploding airbag crisis.

The downgrade came after Honda said it was probing a sixth fatality, in the United States, that may have been caused by a defect in airbags made by Takata.

Takata has been plunged into a public relations crisis at it faces lawsuits, calls for a criminal probe and accusations of "deception and obfuscation" over the deadly defect. 

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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