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Takata President Steps Down Amid Air Bag Recalls

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Takata Corp, the auto supplier embroiled in a global safety crisis, said Wednesday its president, Stefan Stocker, would step down and its chairman would assume the role to unify the company's response to the recall of millions of vehicles carrying defective air bags.

Stocker, a Swiss national, joined Takata from privately-held supplier Robert Bosch as Takata's first foreign president and will remain with the company as a board member. Shigehisa Takada, the grandson of the company founder, will become president and retain his title as chairman.

More than 24 million cars have been recalled worldwide since 2008 over Takata's faulty air bags, which can erupt with too much force and spray metal shards into cars. There have been at least five deaths related to Takata's air bags, all in Honda Motor Co <7267.T. cars. The prolonged safety crisis has prompted its third biggest client, General Motors Co , to develop contingency plans to shift business to other air bag makers in case recalls widen.

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