Takata’s U.S. Unit Reaches Deal That Eases Way to Sale

WILMINGTON, Del. — The American unit of Takata, the Japanese company whose airbags have been linked to more than a dozen deaths, has reached an agreement with its creditors, lawyers for affected motorists and automakers that eases its way to end its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell its viable operations, according to court papers.

The company’s airbags can explode with too much force, prompting the largest recall in automotive history and forcing Takata and its United States unit, TK Holdings, into bankruptcy.

TK Holdings had been seeking a judge’s approval for a plan to exit bankruptcy over the opposition of a committee for injured drivers and a separate committee of unsecured creditors.

But the two committees, automakers and Key Safety Systems, which is acquiring the viable business lines of Takata, reached a deal that resolves the biggest objections to the plan, according to court documents filed on Saturday.

Under the agreement, a trust will be established to pay compensation for those injured or killed by the airbags, and automakers will surrender some of their claims against Takata.

The 13 automakers that joined the agreement include General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, and the United States affiliates of Honda Motor and Volkswagen AG.

An amended plan of reorganization that incorporates the settlements will soon be filed with the Bankruptcy Court, Takata’s United States unit said. A spokesman for the unit and lawyers for the committee of injured drivers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If the agreement is approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, an injunction would prevent injured drivers from suing the automakers that joined the agreement.

Key Safety Systems plans to acquire Takata’s viable operations for $1.6 billion. The proceeds will fund restitution claims for automakers and help pay personal injury and wrongful death claims as part of a plea deal with the United States Department of Justice.