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Judge to rule on Takata request to halt air bag lawsuits

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(AP) — A Delaware bankruptcy judge is weighing a request by Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata for an injunction prohibiting the governments of Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from prosecuting lawsuits involving the company’s lethally defective air bag inflators.

After a hearing Wednesday, the judge said he will issue an oral ruling Aug. 16.

In addition to halting the state actions, Takata also wants the judge to put a hold on hundreds of individual lawsuits against automobile manufacturers who installed the faulty air bags.

Takata says allowing the lawsuits to proceed would seriously jeopardize its restructuring efforts, including the planned sale of most of its assets to a Chinese-owned rival for $1.6 billion.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and crushing recall costs involving the air bags.

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