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Scandal-Hit Airbag Maker Takata Hires Investment Bank to Resolve Financial Woes

Takata has issued recalls for 34 million airbagsTakata has issued recalls for 34 million airbags
Japanese auto supplier Takata issued recalls for 34 million airbags. Auto tech Becky McInnis reinstalls a airbag after changing the inflator module on this '03 Toyota Tundra at Lee Toyota in Topsham.Photograph by John Patriquin — Portland Press Herald Press Herald via Getty Images

Takata Corp hired investment bank Lazard Ltd to lead efforts to help resolve financial issues stemming from its record-setting recall of tens of millions of faulty airbags, sources said Wednesday.

Takata‘s board of directors in February named an outside steering committee to develop a comprehensive restructuring plan to address the financial and operational issues related to its recall of the defective inflators linked to 13 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Takata‘s committee retained Lazard to “expeditiously seeking new investment for Takata,” according to a document seen by Reuters.

Takata is facing mounting financial costs related to its recall of upward of 100 million airbags worldwide. Earlier this month, the U.S. Transportation Department and Takata confirmed that 17 automakers will recall another 35 million to 40 million U.S. air bag inflators by 2019 — on top of 28.8 million recalled previously.

Takata‘s steering committee has retained Lazard “as part of a broader undertaking to addressTakata‘s financial and operational issues and to resolve its inflator issues on a consensual basis in partnership with its automotive customers,” according to the document seen by Reuters.

The committee is working to reform Takata‘s governance structure, and to ensure the equitable treatment of claims for all automotive customers, the document said.

In April, Reuters reported Takata had begun looking for a financial backer and planned to draw up a list of candidates by August, citing two people familiar with the matter.