Takata pleads guilty to fraud in air bag case

DETROIT (AP) — Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and agreed to pay $1 billion for a scheme to conceal a deadly defect in millions of its air bag inflators.

Takata admits to hiding problems that can cause inflators to explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. U.S. prosecutors still are seeking extradition of three former Takata executives from Japan to face criminal charges.

Detroit federal Judge George Caram Steeh accepted a guilty plea to a fraud charge Monday.

Takata has agreed to pay $850 million in restitution to automakers, $125 million for victims and families and a $25 million criminal fine. Separately, the company faces dozens of consumer and state lawsuits that could run into millions of dollars.

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