A federal grand jury in Ohio has indicted two Japanese auto-parts companies and five executives with price-fixing as part of a long-running investigation into illegal competitive practices in the automotive parts industry.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Tokai Kogyo and Maruyasu Industries, their US subsidiaries, and five executives have been charged with participating in international conspiracies to rig bids and fix prices in the sale of auto body sealing products and steel tubing.
The Justice Department charged Tokai Kogyo and one executive with conspiring to rig bids and fix prices on automotive body sealing products for sale to Honda for cars made and sold in the United States. In a separate indictment, Haruyasu and four executives were charged with price fixing and bid rigging for automotive steel tubes sold in the US and elsewhere.
The charges are the latest in the US government’s sprawling crackdown on illegal competitive activity in the automotive parts industry, which, to date, has primarily involved Japanese parts companies. A total of 64 persons and 44 companies have been charged and have agreed to pay more than $2.7 billion in criminal fines.
Although these latest indictments are not directly targeted at aftermarket parts manufacturers, it is important to note that the Justice Department investigations are ongoing, and are not limited to OEM parts.