Vehicle occupants injured by faulty Takata air bags have been given an official role in the bankruptcy of the supplier's US unit, according to media reports.
Reuters said this would allow them to challenge aspects of restructuring plans which plaintiff lawyers have criticised as protecting automakers.
A seven-member official committee will represent economic loss and personal injury or tort claimants, David Buchbinder, a lawyer with the US Department of Justice's bankruptcy watchdog, reportedly told a meeting of Takata US unit creditors.
Official committees receive funds from a debtor to hire professionals who can carry out investigations and test financial assumptions, the report said.
A lawyer not involved with the Takata case told Reuters he expected the committee "to be active and to make sure that the claims of the car manufacturers are not treated preferentially and that tort victims are fairly compensated".
He added that a second five-member committee of suppliers and vendors had also been appointed.
Key Safety Systems and Takata have reached an agreement in principle to sponsor a restructuring plan for the purchase of substantially all of Takata's global assets and operations by the American supplier for an aggregate purchase price of US$1.59bn.The deal is meant to save 14,000 jobs, provide a stable supply of replacement air bags and finance a US$1bn settlement with the US government.
According to Reuters, personal injury lawyers said at a bankruptcy hearing last month that Takata was deferring too much to automakers which claim they are owed billions of dollars in recall costs.