Judge to rule on Takata request to halt air bag lawsuits

In this May 4, 2016, file photo, visitors walk by a Takata Corp. desk at an automaker's showroom in Tokyo. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday, June 30, 2016, it is urging owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired after new tests found that their Takata air bag inflators are extremely dangerous. The agency's urgent advisory covers 2001 and 2002 Honda Civics and Accords, the 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 Honda Odyssey and CR-V, and the 2003 Acura CL and Honda Pilot, NHTSA said. "These vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired." (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware bankruptcy judge is weighing a request by Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata for an injunction prohibiting the governments of Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from prosecuting lawsuits involving the company’s lethally defective air bag inflators.

After a hearing Wednesday, the judge said he will issue an oral ruling Aug. 16.

In addition to halting the state actions, Takata also wants the judge to put a hold on hundreds of individual lawsuits against automobile manufacturers who installed the faulty air bags.

Takata says allowing the lawsuits to proceed would seriously jeopardize its restructuring efforts, including the planned sale of most of its assets to a Chinese-owned rival for $1.6 billion.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multi-million dollar fines and crushing recall costs involving the air bags.

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