The US Department of Justice has been on a campaign over the past few years to crack down on price fixing in the auto industry, especially from Japanese parts suppliers. In the agency's most recent count, it has indicted 46 people with 26 guilty pleas and raised over $2.4 billion in fines from 31 companies, including nine at once in 2013. Unfortunately, about 20 of these men remain fugitives from the DoJ and catching them might be very difficult.
China's recently instigated push to go after price fixing and monopolistic practices in the automotive sector has garnered a lot of ink, but regulatory bodies around the world have been tackling the issue for years. Lithium-ion battery makers were targeted in 2012, the US Department of Justice hit a cabal of Japanese suppliers for $740M in 2013 and Toyo Tires after that, the EU went after exhaust parts makers earlier this year. Nor are the investigations confined to the auto industry: aluminum p
The ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice into price fixing in the automotive industry has nabbed one more company breaking the law. Japanese parts giant NGK Spark Plug Company agreed to plead guilty to a felony count of pricing fixing and bid rigging in the in the US District Court in Detroit. Its punishment is a $52.1 million criminal fine and to continue to cooperate with the DOJ's sleuthing into the problem.
General Motors just can't seem to avoid controversy in 2014. Of course, there has been a continual run of recalls throughout the year, and now, its GM Financial division is under investigation for possibly violating the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, according to Reuters. FIRREA gives the DoJ the power to examine and potentially sue companies that are found to be acting fraudulently. In this case, the feds want to know the division's criteria when securitizing subpr
In the past, if an automaker did something wrong, they were usually prosecuted by the US government through something called the TREAD Act. Short for Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, it basically requires automakers to report recalls in other countries, along with any and all serious injuries or deaths, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is echoing the call of safety advocates in requesting that the Justice Department create a compensation fund for those killed or injured behind the wheel of General Motors vehicles with faulty ignition switches.
The criminal investigation focused on Toyota's reporting of unintended acceleration problems
The U.S. has reached a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota Motor Corp., concluding a four-year criminal investigation into the Japanese automaker's disclosure of safety problems, according to a person close to the investigation.
U.S. House of Representatives intends to hold hearings on delayed recall
The Department of Justice will investigate General Motors to see whether it failed to recall more than 1.37 million defective cars in timely fashion, according to a report published by Reuters on Tuesday afternoon.
A global auto industry price-fixing scandal being investigated by the US Department of Justice continues to unfurl as ever more companies – most of them Japanese – are found guilty of fixing the prices of numerous types of vehicle parts. Toyo Tire & Rubber is the latest company to agree to plead guilty to the crime and to pay a fine of $120 million, according to a statement by the DoJ.
Three Japanese executives at Takata are set to plead guilty to price fixing charges, after the company itself agreed to pay a $71.3-million anti-trust fine. Takata supplies a number of components for automakers, but may be best known for its distinctive green racing seatbelts.
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 invo
One California-based consultant just got busted for double-dipping on four-wheelers. Chi Zheng, whose Los Angeles-based companies MotorScience Inc. and MotorScience Enterprise Inc. specialized as a consultant for all-terrain vehicle imports from China, had his companies fined $3.6 million for violating emissions requirements, according to the US Department of Justice, US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The companies were hit with a $3.55 million fin
An investigation by the US Department of Justice into charges that Daimler bribed officials in 22 countries with "tens of millions of dollars" to win contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars from 1998 to 2008 has almost come to a close. Daimler paid $195 million in fines to the DoJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010 over the issue and, along with three subsidiaries in Germany, Russia and China, agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement that placed it under two years of pr
The three-year investigation by the US Department of Justice into price-fixing allegations by auto parts suppliers continues, with two more fish from the swamp of corruption the latest to be sentenced. Reuters reports that Denso executives Yuji Suzuki and Hiroshi Watanabe will do 16 months and 15 months in US jails, respectively, for their roles in setting prices for parts like heater control units and power window systems. They will also each pay $20,000 fines.
Two more Japanese auto industry suppliers, Yazaki and Denso, have been fined by the U.S. Department of Justice and four executives from Yazaki will go to jail, according to reports in the New York Times and Automotive News. Yazaki's $478 million fine and Denso's $78 million fine come on top of the $200 million penalty paid by another Japanese supplier, Furukawa Electric Company, last November as part of a probe into price fixing. Three Furukawa execs also were sentenced to prison.
You might recall the tale of the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice being sued earlier this year for wrecking a Ferrari F50. The F50 was stolen from its owner in 2003, after which the insurance company, Motors Insurance, reimbursed the owner for the loss. The feds then recovered the stolen scarlet screamer during a sting operation and held it in FBI custody in Kentucky. At some point, it needed to be moved out of its impound garage, but instead of making it safely to another garage, it got wrapp
The Detroit News reports that Ford is close to wrapping up a lawsuit that's been in the works for the past seven years. Ford originally sued the federal government by claiming that the feds should share a portion of the costs tied to cleaning up the company's Rogue manufacturing complex. The site opened in 1917 and helped construct wartime engines, tanks and boats during World War I and II. The report says that Ford and the site's current co-owner, Severstal Dearborn, LLC, have conditionally agr
The Detroit News reports that Ford is close to wrapping up a lawsuit that's been in the works for the past seven years. Ford originally sued the federal government by claiming that the feds should share a portion of the costs tied to cleaning up the company's Rouge manufacturing complex. The site opened in 1917 and helped construct wartime engines, tanks and boats during World War I and II. The report says that Ford and the site's current co-owner, Severstal Dearborn, LLC, have conditionally agr
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice have landed themselves in hot water over the destruction of a Ferrari F50. According to The Detroit News, the vehicle was reported stolen from a dealership in Rosemont, Pennsylvania in 2003, and the dealer made and insurance claim for the sum of $750,000 at that time. Michigan-based Motors Insurance Corp. shelled out the cash, and in August 2008, the FBI recovered the vehicle in Kentucky. At that time, the FBI stored the vehi