Takata plunges 20% on 'worst case' airbag recall costs $24 bn: Bloomberg

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Tokyo (AFP)

Takata's shares plunged 20 percent in Tokyo Wednesday, after Bloomberg News said the embattled Japanese airbag supplier's recall-related costs could come in as high as $24 billion.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said the company estimated the "worst case" scenario would involve the recall of 287.5 million airbag inflators at a cost of 2.7 trillion yen ($24 billion).

Takata and its automaker clients are still hashing out how the costs would be shared, the unnamed source said.

A company spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

In response to the report, published shortly before markets close, Takata shares plunged 19.45 percent to 414 yen, its daily loss limit.

The whopping estimate comes as Takata struggles to deal with the inflator defect that can cause airbags to deploy with explosive force, sending metal and plastic shrapnel hurtling toward drivers and passengers -- in some cases killing them or causing grisly injuries.

At least ten deaths have been linked to the airbag ruptures, and already some 28 million Takata airbags have been recalled in the United States alone.