The dirty secrets of the multibillion-dollar wiring harness industry are being uncovered bit by bit, as more suppliers are found to be connected to a global price-fixing scandal. Automotive News reports that Ford is now suing a Japanese supplier that admitted to fixing prices of wiring harness components in a previous criminal investigation.

The civil lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Detroit against Fujikura Ltd. and its Detroit subsidiary, Fujikura Automotive America, on Tuesday. The lawsuit claims that the aforementioned companies coordinated with other suppliers to fix the prices of wiring harnesses sold to Ford from January 2000 through at least February 2010. Fujikura agreed to pay a $20 million fine in the criminal investigation, and Ford is suing for triple the damages – as allowed by US law – on the $10 billion it spent on harnesses during the 10-year period, though it's not known how much money Ford lost on them.

The wiring harness industry, in 2010, was a $26.9 billion business, and the size of the investigation into price fixing reflects this. In February, Scott Hammond, US deputy assistant attorney general, said the investigation into price fixing "has grown over time and is broader than what we've announced so far," reports Automotive News.


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  • 33 Comments
      nassau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't tell me the Japanese fix prices. Next you are going to tell me the Chinese do the same. Alas and alack and oh woe. All my beliefs are being down trodden.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Shocking.
      Hajime1990 #follow
      • 1 Year Ago
      Everything that goes right is our profit, anything that goes wrong is the Japanese's fault. Typical western business style. And they still don't know why they went bankrupt.
      Andrew
      • 1 Year Ago
      IRONIC if anyone price fixes its FORD and there stupid Lincoln bran d why pay 3 x more for a Ford with a different grill nice try FORD I hope you lose and go bankrupt!
      ravingricefarmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      speaking of harness cables, can't the same be applied to american internet providers? i mean, there's gotta be a reason for paying 3x the price for 1/10 of the internet speed compared to rest of the developed world.
        jz78817
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ravingricefarmer
        speaking of internet providers, can't we call it ice cream because vests have no sleeves? seriously, what does your post have to do with anything?
        bK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ravingricefarmer
        Price fixing is bad when the big companies are at loss. Its totally fine for them to limit our bandwidth and then make us pay a premium for a little faster internet.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 1 Year Ago
        Ford is generally controlled and owned by the Ford family. Ford wouldn't sue OPEC because they don't directly purchase large quantities of oil for vehicle manufacture.
          Kimura
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          It's only a joke if its funny.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          [blocked]
          mikoprivat
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          to wbm...the simple fact that you are calling your stupid comment a "joke" is proof enough that you're not the sharpest tool in the shed....no wonder you defend toyota LOL
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          [blocked]
        mikoprivat
        • 1 Year Ago
        people should (and are) suing toyota for producing dangerous, cheap, low quality contraptions that litter american roads. They just settled for more than 1,5 billion dollars. Even in your delirious mind that means that they admit that they are guilty. Your irresponsible irate defensive toyota comments will not change the fact that toyota is a joke and only the brainwashed alzheimer stricken old baby boomers buy it. After the millions of well documented and publicized recalls during the last 3-4 years anybody buying a toyota is not normal and DESERVES what he/she gets.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mikoprivat
          [blocked]
      Dmitriy Markelov
      • 1 Year Ago
      Based on the responses I've read so far it appears that many Autoblog readers don't understand what price fixing is.
      The Friendly Grizzly
      I wonder if it ever occurred to Ford to make their own wiring harnesses?
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        All auto makers buy various components from third-party suppliers, and are constantly calculating whether buying a given part is cheaper than manufacturing it in-house. Sometimes a supplier that specializes in one kind of part can leverage economies of scale (by selling the same thing to different car makers) to produce better/cheaper parts than any one car makers could come up with on their own.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dreadcthulhu01
          [blocked]
        jz78817
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        with what facilities and equipment?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jz78817
          [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        [blocked]
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          If they're Ford's design, Ford could simply allow them access to the design specs and license. It's ok then since it would be authorized.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Free markets and Japan just don't quite mix. They fake capitalism like a cheap ***** fakes passion.
      andrite36
      • 1 Year Ago
      I faced a similar problem on my Suzuki Aerio. The door handle busted off. Can't buy just a door hhandl, but i can but the whole inside of the entire door for $400. Good times.
        jz78817
        • 1 Year Ago
        @andrite36
        and what does this have to do with price fixing? Nothing. look, the reason service parts are sold the way they are is because they're the same part or assembly that gets shipped to the factory. If Supplier A ships an entire built-up door module to the Suzuki plant, the entire built up door module is also the service part.
      Philip Cook
      • 1 Year Ago
      I work for a smaller harness manufacturer($150million) and feel zero sympathy for competitors that win projects unfairly. The resulting higher costs for harnesses get passed on to consumers. Ford, unlike it's Japanese competitors is doing the right thing by going after this supplier in court.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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