Takata guilty plea expected in cover-up of troubles

Published 8:41 am Monday, February 27, 2017

DETROIT — Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. is expected to plead guilty today to a criminal charge and agree to a $1 billion penalty for concealing a deadly air bag inflator problem.

Company representatives are scheduled to be in U.S. District Court in Detroit this afternoon. The company agreed last month to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Three executives also have bene indicted on charges that they falsified test reports.

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Takata inflators can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 16 people have been killed worldwide and more than 180 have been hurt.

Judge George Caram Steeh is expected to be asked to appoint attorney Kenneth Feinberg to distribute restitution payments to victims and their families.