Auto Parts Makers Face $4 Million Fine for Price Fixing
The Department of Justice reports that two South Korean auto parts makers have agreed to pay a single criminal fine of $4 million for their involvement in a conspiracy to rig bids of instrument panel clusters installed in vehicles manufactured and sold in the United States. Instrument panel clusters are a set of instruments located on the dashboard of a vehicle that contain gauges such as a speedometer, tachometer, odometer and fuel gauge, as well as warning indicators for gearshift position, seat belt, parking-brake engagement, engine malfunction, low fuel, low oil pressure and low tire pressure. Justice indicates that the charged companies’ involvement in this conspiracy began as early as March 2004 and continued until May 2012.
As part of their plea agreement, the companies agreed to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry. To date, 46 individuals and 32 companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty and have agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion in fines. Of the 46 individuals, 26 have been sentenced to serve time in U.S. prisons.