After 25 million vehicles containing its airbags have been recalled, tomorrow the Japanese auto parts supplier Takata will present its business plans to its carmaker clients. According to company sources, CEO Shigehisa Takada and other top executives will offer to resign from the company. Theres no successor in place ready to take over if the automakers do ask him to resign. Update: Takata now says that the CEO does not plan to resign.
Update: Reuters now reports that Takata has specifically denied this story, saying that Shigehisa Takada has no plans to step down. The original post follows.
As you may be able to guess from his surname, Shigehisa Takada is running his family business: the supplier was founded by his grandfather in 1933. (If you’re curious about the spelling variation, it’s probably for reasons similar to why the Toyoda family calls their company Toyota.) He has spent his career with the company, and took over as CEO in 2013, long after problematic airbags were being sold to clients.
The company commissioned tests from the Fraunhofer Institute, a research organization in Germany, to determine the cause of the airbag failure, and those are due in the next few weeks. Some early results showed that the shrapnel-flinging issue may be due to improperly installed inflators, which would put blame for the failure on Takata. If so, that could leave the supplier responsible for the collective repair bill for 25 million cars and trucks worldwide, not the automakers.