Takata Revises Full-Year Net Loss Forecast to $218.4M

Nov 07, 2014 12:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

Takata Corp warned of a bigger full-year loss on Thursday and skipped its dividend, the first time it didn't offer a payout since it listed back in 2006.

The Japanese automotive safety equipment maker's potentially defective air bags have been linked to four deaths in the US. It has been beset by chronic issues with defective inflators in the air bags, which can explode with excessive force and spray metal shards at occupants inside the vehicle.

The air bags, used by a number of leading automakers around the world, are the focus of an U.S. regulatory probe and resulted in the recall of 17 million vehicles worldwide in the last six years, according to Reuters.

Yoichiro Nomura, executive vice president and chief financial officer, bowed in apology to customers affected by the recalls before a packed briefing room at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

 "We would like to apologize for worrying and concerning all our customers, automakers and shareholders who have been affected by repeated recalls of cars with our air bags," Nomura said, according to Reuters.

Takata has 22 percent of the global market for air bag inflators, the explosive device that allows the air bag to inflate in a fraction of a second in the event of a crash.

The company has already set aside 75 billion yen ($655 million), to cover the recall of up to 9 million cars, according to Reuters. It said it took an additional 2.3 billion yen charge in July-September to cover recalls of another 160,000 vehicles. It had not put aside funds to cover potential U.S. class action lawsuits however.

Takata, has a strong cash position for now, though it revised its full-year forecast to a 25 billion yen ($218.4 million) net loss from a previous forecast for a 24 billion yen loss recently. The company reported a first-half net loss of 35.24 billion yen, compared to a 2013 profit of 769 million yen during the same time last year, according to Reuters.

By most financial metrics, Takata is the worst performer among at least 100 different Japanese automotive parts makers.

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