| Business

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Auto parts makers guilty

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 8:09 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Nine Japanese auto parts manufacturers and two of their executives will plead guilty and pay $740 million in criminal fines for conspiring to fix the prices of more than 30 products sold to many of the world's largest automakers operating in the United States, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.

The action is the latest development in the largest criminal investigation the Justice Department's criminal division has carried out. To date, it has resulted in charges against 20 companies and 21 executives, and the companies have agreed to pay $1.6 billion in criminal fines.

From steering assemblies to seat belts, the price-fixing conspiracies went on for more than a decade and affected more than $5 billion in auto parts sold to American car manufacturers and installed in cars sold in the United States and elsewhere. In all, more than 25 million cars purchased by American consumers have been affected by the illegal conduct.

“As a result of these conspiracies, Americans paid more for their cars,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference. American companies such as Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. were affected, as were U.S. subsidiaries of Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp., Mitsubishi, Nissan Motor Co., Subaru and Toyota Motor Corp.

The government will continue to “check every hood and kick every tire” to end the price fixing, Holder said.

Company executives used code names and met face to face in remote locations in the United Sates and Japan to rig bids, fix prices and allocate the supply of auto parts, the government alleged.

Seventeen of the 21 executives charged so far have been sentenced to serve prison terms or have plea agreements calling for significant time behind bars.

The companies charged on Thursday are Hitachi Automotive Systems, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsuba, Jtekt, NSK, T.RAD, Valeo Japan and Yamashita Rubber.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Nutritional supplement makers, led by GNC, want to create voluntary safety standards
  2. Many Black Friday deals not worth the hassle
  3. Smartphones expected to overtake desktops for holiday shopping
  4. Signs of steady U.S. economy: Pay, home sales up, unemployment applications down
  5. Powder metals fabricator Atlas Pressed Metals diversifies appeal to customers
  6. Take steps to make it harder for holiday hackers
  7. Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
  8. Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
  9. Stocks finish flat before Thanksgiving holiday; energy firms give back some gains
  10. Auto review: Cadillac CTS-V makes big impression with speed, power, comfort
  11. Stocks shake off Middle East tensions, drop in consumer confidence