Delaware Judge OKs Takata request to halt some lawsuits over air bags

 In this Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 photo, the exploded air bag that injured Rabiah binti Ibrahim, hangs from her steering wheel in her Honda City in Slim River, Malaysia. Five Malaysians have died in accidents linked to faulty Takata air bags that are at the center of one of the world’s largest auto recalls. (AP Photo/Lim Huey Teng)

In this Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 photo, the exploded air bag that injured Rabiah binti Ibrahim, hangs from her steering wheel in her Honda City in Slim River, Malaysia. Five Malaysians have died in accidents linked to faulty Takata air bags that are at the center of one of the world’s largest auto recalls. (AP Photo/Lim Huey Teng)

A Delaware bankruptcy judge is temporarily halting the prosecution of lawsuits filed by Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata over its lethally defective air bag inflators.

Judge Brendan Shannon ordered the 90-day stay Wednesday after hearing arguments last week on Takata’s request to halt hundreds of air bag-related lawsuits while it works on a reorganization plan.

Shannon also granted Takata’s request to temporarily halt individual lawsuits against automobile manufacturers who installed the faulty air bags. But he refused to extend that ruling to scores of lawsuits consolidated in a federal multi-district litigation case in Miami.

Takata said allowing the lawsuits to proceed would jeopardize its restructuring efforts.

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

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.