Japanese Auto Parts Companies Plead Guilty to Price Fixing

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Oct. 4, 2013—The U.S. Justice Department announced recently that nine Japanese automotive suppliers—and two former executives—will plead guilty and pay more than $740 million in criminal fines for their roles in separate price-fixing conspiracies.

The pleas were the latest in the Justice Department’s on-going investigation, which has led to a total of 20 companies and 21 executives being charged.

According to a statement issued by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, the conspiracy affected more than 30 different products sold to U.S. and foreign auto manufacturers, including seatbelts, radiators, windshield wipers, air conditioning systems, power window motors, and power steering parts, among others.

In total, more than $5 billion worth of parts and 25 million vehicles purchased by American consumers were affected by it.

All of Detroit’s Big Three automakers—GM, Ford and Chrysler—were affected, as were American subsidiaries of Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.

As a result of the conspiracies, Americans paid more for their cars.

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