Takata Honda NSX

Despite the global airbag scandal that has affected various carmakers and caused deaths, with the latest fatality happening in Malaysia last week, Takata Corp’s CEO Shigehisa Takada has not left his post. He will only resign after a “new management regime” is found, Reuters reports.

Takada, described by the report as a quiet, bookish presence in contrast to his gregarious, hands-on father who previously headed the company, is the first member of the founding family to take public responsibility. He apologised for the scandal last year, but has also defended the company’s products.

“I am not clinging to this. My role is to make sure the company does not take a bad turn until there is a passing of the baton,” Takada told an annual shareholders meeting, where he came under fire for failing to deal more effectively with the crisis. It was said that the shy and awkward Takada often mumbled, apologising for his inadequate responses. He was also barely audible when answering questions. The third-generation leader of the company has been at the helm since 2011.

Takada said details of the management changes would be determined by a third-party committee charged to oversee the company’s restructuring. The committee, which has brought in investment bank Lazard, said last month that it would reform governance and resolve cost issues brought about by the recall.

Honda airbag

Takata, one of the world’s largest suppliers of vehicle safety parts, has been searching for a financial backer to help it overhaul the business and shoulder ballooning costs. Up to 30 potential investors have indicated initial interest, and a solution is expected by November, it has been reported.

Takata posted its third annual loss in four years in the past financial year, with shares down by some 90% since early 2014. The Japanese company, which started in 1933 as a textiles maker, is struggling to supply enough replacement inflators, as around 100 million units have been classified as defective.

It has been pointed out that the recall costs for Takata have been relatively small as automakers have shouldered most of the burden, so far. If Takata was found to be solely responsible for the fault, it could face a bill of more than US$10 billion, based on a rough calculation that each replacement kit costs around US$100. The company also faces US lawsuits.

Which models in Malaysia are involved in the multi-brand recalls, and what to do if your car is affected? Full details here for you to take action immediately.