Japan's airbag giant Takata says filed for bankruptcy protection

Tokyo - Japan's crisis-hit airbag maker Takata said it filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, as it struggles with the fallout from the auto industry's biggest ever safety recall.

The Tokyo-based car parts giant is facing lawsuits and huge costs over an airbag defect linked to at least 16 deaths globally.

Takata made the filing with the Tokyo District Court, the firm said in a statement, as trading in Takata shares was suspended at the opening of the stock market Monday after a week of massive volatility.

"At a board meeting on June 26, our company decided to begin procedures in filing for bankruptcy protection," it said, adding that the court had accepted the filing.

Takata shares soared more than 40 per cent on Friday after collapsing over the week as traders made bets on its likely bankruptcy.

Analysts attributed the upsurge on Friday to speculative trading among short-term investors hoping to profit from wild swings in share prices as well as to position adjustments ahead of the weekend.