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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  Nissan Motor Co Ltd    7201   JP3672400003

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Four car makers settle claims over Takata inflators for $553 million

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05/19/2017 | 11:46am CEST
Billboard advertisement of Takata Corp is pictured in Tokyo

Four automakers agreed to a $553 million settlement to address class-action economic loss claims covering owners of nearly 16 million recalled vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators, court documents filed on Thursday showed.

Toyota Motor Corp's (>> Toyota Motor Corp) share of the settlement costs is $278.5 million, followed by BMW AG (>> Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) at $131 million, Mazda Motor Co (>> Mazda Motor Corp) at $76 million and Subaru Corp (>> Subaru Corp) at $68 million.

While the settlement does not mean an end to legal headaches faced by Takata Corp (>> Takata Corporation) or its car maker clients, the resolution could help the embattled Japanese air bag maker's efforts to search for a financial sponsor by removing one litigation uncertainty.

Shares of Takata, which was not named as a plaintiff in the case, jumped 20 percent in Tokyo on Friday. Takata has been searching for more than a year to find a financial sponsor to pay for costs to replace its inflators which are at the center of the auto industry's biggest-ever recall.

U.S. auto components maker Key Safety Systems (KSS) and private equity fund Bain Capital are trying to strike a rescue deal worth around 200 billion yen with Takata's steering committee and its automaker customers.

The settlement highlights the knock-on effect of the recalls, which began around 2008 and covers around 100 million inflators around the world used in vehicles made by 19 automakers.

Takata's inflators can explode with excessive force and unleash metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks, and are blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide.

"This is a settlement between us and our customers," said a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for Mazda.

Lawsuits against Honda Motor Co (>> Honda Motor Co Ltd), Ford Motor Co (>> Ford Motor Company) and Nissan Motor Co (>> Nissan Motor Co Ltd) have not been settled, lawyers said.

Takata declined to comment on the settlement.

The four automakers who settled said in a joint statement they agreed to the deal "given the size, scope and severity of the Takata recall," but did not admit fault or liability. The automakers said the settlements, if approved by a Florida judge, will be overseen by a court-appointed administrator.

The settlement includes an outreach program to contact owners; compensation for economic losses including out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500; rental cars for some owners; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.

In January, Takata agreed to plead guilty to U.S. charges of criminal wrongdoing and to pay $1 billion to resolve a federal investigation into its inflators. The majority of the air bag-related fatalities and injuries have occurred in the United States.

Automakers have recalled 46 million Takata air bag inflators in 29 million U.S. vehicles. By 2019, automakers will recall 64 million to 69 million U.S. inflators in 42 million vehicles, regulators said in December. Most inflators have not been fixed.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

By David Shepardson and Naomi Tajitsu

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Financials ( JPY)
Sales 2018 12 052 384 M
EBIT 2018 -
Net income 2018 587 369 M
Debt 2018 5 121 300 M
Yield 2018 4,64%
P/E ratio 2018 7,61
P/E ratio 2019 7,10
EV / Sales 2018 0,82x
EV / Sales 2019 0,81x
Capitalization 4 811 615 M
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 1 329  JPY
Spread / Average Target 17%
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Managers
NameTitle
Hiroto Saikawa Vice Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Carlos Ghosn Bichara Chairman
Joseph G. Peter CFO, Head-Investor Relations & Accounting
Celso Guiotoko Chief Information Officer
Takao Asami Senior Managing Executive Officer & Head-Research
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