Japan's Takata Corp says 'no' to U.S. lawmaker's call for compensation fund

Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:49pm EDT
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By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Takata Corp has rejected the suggestion that it establish a compensation fund for the victims of defective air bag inflators that have been linked to at least eight deaths and more than 100 injuries, a U.S. senator announced on Friday.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, urged the Japanese manufacturer to consider setting up a fund during a June 23 oversight hearing on Takata's recall of nearly 34 million air bag inflators in the United States.

The inflators, at the center of one of the largest consumer product recalls in U.S. history, can explode on impact, firing metal shrapnel into passenger compartments.

"Takata believes that a national compensation fund is not currently required," Kevin Kennedy, a Takata executive vice president, informed the senator in a July 7 letter.

He said the company would instead concentrate on individual claims and a multi-district personal injury case in Florida.

"Takata’s senior management has given the idea of a

compensation fund careful consideration, and we will continue to evaluate the possible benefits of such a mechanism," Kennedy wrote.

Separately, Takata issued a statement underscoring its "commitment to treating fairly anyone injured as a result of an inflator rupture."   Continued...

Visitors walk behind a logo of Takata Corp on its display at a showroom for vehicles in Tokyo, Japan, June 25, 2015.  REUTERS/Yuya Shino