We've seen automotive price-fixing scandals in the past, most recently against nine Japanese suppliers that received $740 million in fines from the US Department of Justice. Now the European Union is cracking down hard on the anti-competitive practice. On March 25, its regulators raided several exhaust system suppliers, including one based in the US, and more busts could be on the way.
The most recent crackdowns have come at the doors of French firm Faurecia, Eberspaecher Group out of Germany and US-based TenneCo, according to Reuters. The European Commission alleges that the companies operated like a cartel to dominate the industry. The businesses may now face fines of up to 10 percent of their global turnover.
The Commission didn't announce specifically which companies were raided, but Reuters says it has confirmed all three. Faurecia is 52-percent owned by PSA Peugeot-Citroën. TenneCo had its German offices searched and received a subpoena from the Department of Justice. Among many other parts made for various automakers, the company supplies emission control components to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
This isn't the end for these invasions, either. The Commission says it is investigating price fixing in over 100 vehicle parts from more than 70 companies. Earlier this month, raids against Schaeffler in Germany, SKF in Sweden and three Japanese suppliers for operating a ball bearing cartel brought in fines totaling 953.3-million euro ($1.3 billion USD).