Takata pleads guilty to U.S. fraud charge linked to faulty air bags

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The logo of Takata Corp is seen on its display at a showroom for vehicles in Tokyo, Japan, February 9, 2017. Picture taken February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (Copyright Reuters 2017)

Japan's Takata Corp <7312.T> on Monday pleaded guilty to a felony charge as part of an expected $1 billion deal with the U.S. Justice Department that includes compensation funds for automakers and victims of its faulty airbag inflators.

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After Takata's guilty plea, a federal judge in Detroit was hearing objections on Monday to the settlement raised by lawyers for some victims of Takata inflator ruptures, who argue the settlement will be used by automakers to avoid liability, a court clerk said.

Takata hopes to wins court approval of the settlement, a key hurdle to securing the backing of an investor or acquirer that can fund a turnaround effort and help it grapple with billions of dollars in costs related to the auto industry's biggest-ever recall.

(Reporting By David Shepardson in Washington and Joseph White in Detroit; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)