Automotive supplier price-fixing probe far from finished

By David Sedgwick
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: February 18, 2013 11:55 am ET
Updated: February 18, 2013 11:58 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Legal, Automotive

DETROIT -- The U.S. Department of Justice has levied $809 million in fines, convicted 12 executives and coaxed guilty pleas out of nine automotive suppliers, but its price-fixing probe is far from finished.

The department's antitrust investigation of automotive suppliers "has grown over time and is broader than what we've announced so far," Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Hammond said last week.

The investigation surfaced in 2010 when FBI agents raided the offices of Yazaki North America Inc., Denso International America Inc. and Tokai Rika Group North America.

Regulators in the United States, Japan and Europe have probed suppliers of wire harnesses, bearings, headlights, instrument clusters and thermal systems.

And that investigation could spread further because of a legal tool dubbed Amnesty Plus.

Through Amnesty Plus, the Justice Department offers leniency to suppliers who volunteer information about previously undisclosed price-fixing of other products.

For instance, if a wire harness manufacturer reveals evidence of price-fixing for instrument clusters, it can hope for lower fines.

Says Hammond: "These are incredibly effective incentives for companies to conduct thorough internal investigations."

The fines levied so far suggest that the Justice Department can exert considerable pressure on the suppliers.

In 2011, Japanese supplier Furukawa Electric Co. was fined $200 million, and three Furukawa executives got prison terms ranging from one year to 15 months. Last August, Yazaki agreed to pay a $470 million fine, and a Yazaki executive received a 14-month prison term.

Says Hammond: "Individual jail sentences are the single greatest deterrent -- no doubt about it."


Comments

Automotive supplier price-fixing probe far from finished

By David Sedgwick
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: February 18, 2013 11:55 am ET
Updated: February 18, 2013 11:58 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Chemtrusion, Mytex Indiana compounding plant set for expansion

January 29, 2015 1:35 pm ET

Japanese and American partners in a compounding plant in Indiana plan to expand the facility.    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Losing weight with style, plastics in the Dragons' Den

January 29, 2015 6:00 am ET

A 19-year-old entrepreneur brings business to a U.K. injection molder after winning support on TV's Dragons' Den, auto suppliers combine...    More

Image

Plastics help Volt hit new target

January 28, 2015 1:54 pm ET

The 2016 Volt, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, features a sportier exterior design — GM calls it...    More

Image

FPI joins curbside recycling group

January 28, 2015 11:47 am ET

Foodservice Packaging Institute is joining the board of the Curbside Value Partnership, a non-profit group that works to improve curbside recycling...    More

Image

Agricultural container recycling grows

January 28, 2015 11:42 am ET

Plastic pestitcide container recycling shot up by nearly 40 percent last year, according to new statistics from the Virginia Department of Agriculture...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events