• Supplier to rely on third-party panel to help with plan
  • Agreement would help clarify costs for Takata, automakers

Takata Corp., the air-bag supplier at the center of a global consumer safety crisis, is preparing to present a restructuring plan to automakers in early May that will include an agreement on the sharing of recall costs, according to people familiar with the matter.

Takata aims to reach an agreement with automakers on a plan by the end of May, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The company will also rely on a third-party panel to help formulate the plan, one of the people said. Takata spokesman Toyohiro Hishikawa said he’s not aware of the schedule and restructuring plan when contacted by phone.

Reaching an agreement on recall costs would help clarify liabilities for Takata and major customers including Honda Motor Co., the automaker most affected by the air bag crisis linked to 11 deaths and involving more than 20 million vehicles recalled in the U.S. A review panel appointed by the Tokyo-based supplier said Tuesday the company must make quality a part of its culture to avoid future safety defects.

Pressure on Takata has been rising as automakers approach the eight-year mark since Honda, which owns a 1.2 percent stake in Takata, first recalled vehicles with air bag inflators that can deploy with too much force, spraying metal and plastic shards at drivers and passengers.

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