Two more Japanese auto industry suppliers, Yazaki and Denso, have been fined by the U.S. Department of Justice and four executives from Yazaki will go to jail, according to reports in the New York Times and Automotive News. Yazaki’s $478 million fine and Denso’s $78 million fine come on top of the $200 million penalty paid by another Japanese supplier, Furukawa Electric Company, last November as part of a probe into price fixing. Three Furukawa execs also were sentenced to prison.
The DoJ opened the investigation two years ago into collusion among firms setting prices for parts like wire harnesses and ECUs, but is said to have found evidence of such practices since 2000. Yazaki was charged with three felonies, fixing the prices of wire harnesses, instrument panel clusters and fuel senders. Denso was charged with two felonies, conspiring to fix the prices of ECUs and heating control units. Four Yazaki employees, working mainly for its North American operations in Ohio and Kentucky, were charged with violating the Sherman Antitrust Act and will serve from 15 months to two years in prison.
Both companies have pledged to retrain their employees and bolster their antitrust compliance, and both Yazaki’s Chairman and CEO said they would return half their pay for three months. The Justice Department investigation continues, and said the CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, “I’m dead certain that there has to be a lot of concern out there.”
Feel free to read over the official statements from both Yazaki and Denso after the break.
Continue reading Two Japanese suppliers plead guilty for bid-fixing, will pay record fines