27 Companies Caught In Auto Parts Price-Fixing Probe; $2.3B In Fines
What started out four years ago as an FBI investigation into suspicions of sneaky dealings in the Detroit automotive manufacturing parts supply business has mushroomed into the biggest anitrust probe in history, according to in-depth articles in the Washington Post and New York Times.
So far, 34 individuals have been charged and 27 companies across multiple continents have pleaded guilty or agreed to do so, the Justice Department says.
Companies involved cover a wide range of parts suppliers including Bridgestone, Mitsubishi Electric, Hitachi Automotive Systems and Toyo Tire & Rubber Company.
The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) says more than a dozen separate conspiracies involving more than 30 kinds of parts affected sales to Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, as well as the American subsidiaries of Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.
Collectively, they have agreed to pay more than $2.3 billion in fines — and their price-fixing scheme has cost U.S. vehicle owners untold millions.
According to a USDOJ announcement on April 15, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. agreed to plead guilty and pay a $120 million fine for similar allegations in November.
Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi Automotive Systems and seven other Japanese companies in September agreed to pay $740 million in fines for conspiring to fix parts prices for car companies including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.