Nine Japanese suppliers have pleaded guilty in US court over charges of price fixing in the automotive parts industry, resulting in the Department of Justice doling out a total of $740 million of fines, according to a report from Bloomberg. The scandal, which has resulted in General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler spending up to $5 billion on inflated parts and driving up prices on 25 million vehicles has sent the DoJ hustling into investigations. "The conduct this investigation uncovered involved more than a dozen separate conspiracies aimed at the U.S. economy," Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured above) said during yesterday's press conference.

As the investigation stands, the DoJ has issued $1.6 billion in fines against 20 companies and 21 individual executives, with 17 of the execs headed to prison. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Hammond said, "The breadth of the conspiracies brought to light today are as egregious as they are pervasive. They involve more than a dozen separate conspiracies operating independently but all sharing in common that they targeted US automotive manufacturers."

Big-name suppliers indicted in the investigation include Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi Automotive and Mitsuba Corporation. A list of fines and other corporations named in the investigation is available at Bloomberg.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 92 Comments
      Zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      17 execs headed to prison. How many bank CEOs went to prison for causing the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression costing tax payers hundreds of billions of dollars?
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zoom
        Bank CEOs?................people who had no jobs or worked at McDonalds took out loans to buy houses they could not afford.............they should have been arrested.
          OptimusPrimeRib
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Or the people that allowed them to should be. It's like being mad at the kid who got on the ride that h's too short for because the person watching over it and monitoring it said they will be alright and lets them go ahead.
          Seal Rchin
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Ok, but people who took loans are not kids, these are ADULTS who went out, borrowed and refused to give money back. Oh yeah by the way, if banks said no to them, as they did before those very same people accused banks of racism.
          Seal Rchin
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Optimus there's a law on the books that forces financial institutions to give loans to people who live in underprivileged communities.......why do those people live there? Because they are poor, why are they poor? Because they do not make a lot of money................which means they can never pay back the loans government forces banks to give them.
          Bill
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          "Credit card agreements are written on average at a 12th grade reading level, making them not understandable to four out of five adults, according to a CreditCards.com analysis of all the agreements offered by major card issuers in the United States." These people who got interest deferred, no down payment loans were preyed upon.
          Seal Rchin
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          @ Bill "these people who made mortgages bundled them up into CMO and MBS and sold them to investors." Bill do you know who the investors are????? Goldman Sachs, Merryl, Morgan, Hedge Funds, these are sophisticated investors, they hire Ivy League students who had 4.0 GPA, they pay rating companies...............it was up to them to do the research. You making sound as if these bundled mortgages were sold to some old grandma. Dude i work in financial industry, Goldman pays its people up 400K a year to do nothing buy breakdown investments and study risk.................if they lost money it's all on them. Ohh an by the way, Freddie Mac and Fannie (i.e. GOVERNMENT) do similar thing, combine mortgages and buy or sell them to willing investors.
          l5kream
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          @Mr. Rib We're not talking about kids, were talking about adults that failed to pay for their ****. Don't blame other people for not paying your bills. If you stop making payments on your car, do we arrest the guy that isn't getting paid? It's just moronic. Why the hell are we so backwards in this country?
          Bill
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Goldman did the bundling... institutional funds like mutual funds held by granny bought them. Goldman knew more than any other investment bank of the downturn and kept none of these.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          You do understand that Goldman KNEW these mortgage backed securities they sold to their clients were so crappy that they bet against them so they could line their own pockets, right? Products they KNEW would lose clients money. I'm in the finance industry as well, and if you're going to mention Goldman, you're going to lose any argument. J. F. W. Rogers would punch you for bringing up Goldman's name.
          LW
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Goldman did in fact do alot of the investing in these security instruments like CD0 squared and naked CDS, given they are one of the biggest investment banks that has a high proportion of principal investment. They bet their nest egg on the fact that the whole thing would crash, and of course, after that, they would go pick up the assets for pennies to the dollar. Just go look at Indonesia in the Asian crisis as an example.
        caddy-v
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zoom
        Bank presidents? You mean the bank presidents that were forced to dole out loans under Barney Frank and Chris Dodd that was the root cause of the housing bubble/collapse that brought the rest of the economy down with it? Those two along with any democrat that schemed up the idea of everyone should own a home whether they could afford it or not are the ones that should be doing time.
        edward.stallings
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zoom
        "the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression costing tax payers hundreds of billions of dollars" - was caused by our own socialist government forcing lower lending standards on banks and promising to back up the bad loans. The reason nobody went to jail, and never will, is that democrat politicians caused it and they control the dept of justice. Sure, they blamed lots of people, but ask yourself why they did not pursue prosecution. Lower lending standards upset supply and demand, drove prices up, which created more buying frenzy, sending prices even higher. Industries grew and fed on the boom. Traders in the bad loans insured them and got rich. Investors saw the frenzy and were drawn in. All bubbles eventually burst. Most got burned. The low income crowd that bought and could not keep up payments lost their homes. All because of the government meddling in the home loan industry... Study up on it. Analyze what explanations make sense when modeled. Don't just believe what you are told. Question why you are being told what you are.
          Seal Rchin
          • 1 Year Ago
          @edward.stallings
          @ Bill "Moody's and S&P were stupid and believed this story and gave these MBSs AAA ratings... and investors, believing in moodys and S&P rating agencies bought them. " DUE DILIGENCE Moodys and S&P do not "believe", they are paid to do research, meaning looking inside the mortgage and seeing who loaned the money, their financial situation and rate it accordingly. Investors paid Moodys and if it failed them they could simply sue the company for gross negligence or breaking it's fiduciary obligations.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @edward.stallings
          You idiot, this was greed plain and simple. Government didn't meddle, the industry was deregulated by "conservatives" by repealing Glass Steagall to the point where it had no teeth. At the heart of the act, investment banks were not allowed access to funds that were FDIC insured. When this last barrier was removed, banks were able to buy/issue much riskier products. A systemic failure could no longer be avoided, and started with Lehman Bros. Who wins? The biggest banks, and their top management.
          Bill
          • 1 Year Ago
          @edward.stallings
          the lending standards were lowered because banks bundled them up into CMOs and MBSs (basically like bonds) and made fees bundling them... saying that yeah, some mortgages will go bankrupt and not as a whole. Moody's and S&P were stupid and believed this story and gave these MBSs AAA ratings... and investors, believing in moodys and S&P rating agencies bought them. Thus, high demand for MBSs. Low interest rates. High demand for mortgages by homebuyers. Nothing to do with the gov't lowering lending standards, though perhaps they should have stepped in and raised them.
          jdeli01
          • 1 Year Ago
          @edward.stallings
          "Don't just believe what you are told. Question why you are being told what you are." The irony of this statement based on everything you just said.
        LW
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zoom
        That's because these auto parts companies didn't write the law which they could circumvent, and don't have the whole white house staffed with their alumnis whispering to the president nothing but what the banks told them to whisper.
      churchmotor
      • 1 Year Ago
      And yet our Government REFUSES to investigate Benghazi.
        churchmotor
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        LOL, yonomo and his Democratic UAW thugs have been here.
      churchmotor
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad the DOJ isn't throwing Holder in prison for selling guns to Mexican Drug Cartels
        NeutronStar73
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        INtelligence isn't your or nsxrules' strong suit. Get a grip, guys.
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NeutronStar73
          LOL, is this a new account yonomo200?
          angryinch_10
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NeutronStar73
          LOL yonomo73. been busy voting as usual. Don't you UAW thugs have some people in Tennessee to beat up?
        MikeInNC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        Count every single down vote on the thread as a badge of honor. The UAW's digital brown shirts are out in full force!! Down vote away!!!
          Brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MikeInNC
          Maybe they're not a member of the UAW and they think your just a complete moron? just my 2 cents...
          OptimusPrimeRib
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MikeInNC
          I count them as a badge of stupidity.
        jdeli01
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        Boy if they did that, a lot of CIA, FBI, or any other undercover police would be in prison.
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who's the rat in the picture?
      Car Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Holder is a criminal and deserves prison. Have many people have been killed from the botched Fast and Curious disaster?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        [blocked]
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          yonomo1701, please for God's sake, do some reading.
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
      gooseman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whew, those fines should cover at least 15% of next years UAW Viagra prescriptions and abortions.
      Pinhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Picture of Eric Holder = crazies come out of woodwork to hate. Autoblog editors must have been bored, decided to kick the hornets nest.
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pinhead
        holder is a racist and he hates America.
          Car Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Him and Ostupid both belong in prison.
          J
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          > Bawack Yourblamer Bawack Yourblamer = Butthurt JDM fanboy...
          J
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          > Bawack Yourblamer : holder is a racist and he hates America. Uh, no. He just hates YOU.
        Diz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pinhead
        Your Name = Perfect Match
        Truth
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pinhead
        Amen Pinhead! You nailed it. These wack-o's take the juice out of one story and mold it into their own political tea bagger agenda.
      normc32
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still doesn't explain how Japanese automobile manufacturers have to recall so many American made parts in their cars when American auto companies use the same vendors and don't have the recalls?
        404 not found
        • 1 Year Ago
        @normc32
        Did you just say American auto companies don't have recalls?
          normc32
          • 1 Year Ago
          @404 not found
          The Domestics don't have the first and second in recalls the last couple of years like Toyota and Honda.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      For those that have done business with Japanese or Korean firms though, this is just part of the culture and the reason they are always to extremely suspicious and untrusting. They just assume that everyone is going to cheat them because they cheat everyone they can anytime they think they can get away with it. Its not that they are unfriendly or anything, but in their competitive marketplace its just considered par for the course in the culture of their upper echelon in Japan and S.Korea and the amount of risk they are willing to entail to get away with it is sometimes shocking to inexperienced North American or European Union firms.
        Bill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        It takes time for a culture to get use to the rule of law... it's not some sort of Asian culture thing... America too was very very corrupt at one time... remember that S Korea per person was poorer than most African countries after the Korean War (60 years ago) and those execs that worked during Korea's rapid economic growth when it's legal system was weak are in power now. But in this particular instance, it's Japanese firms...
          Bill
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          To help put things into perspective... even in the 1970s... the average Korean working man ate only one egg a day while for his family, while his family would get to animal protein in his diet. When it's a fight for survival, sometimes you break the law.
      nocommie11
      • 1 Year Ago
      So even if they conspired to fix prices, isn't that just breaking some trade rules? How is it a jailable offence?
      dave and mary
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ain't THAT an interesting sight: a picture of a crook pointing to a graph of crooked activites.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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