Two Denso executives pleaded guilty for conspiring to fix prices of electronic auto parts offered to Toyota.
The two executives, Yuji Suzuki and Hiroshi Watanabe, said they will cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation. This settlement is the latest among several investigations related to price fixing for auto parts, in which are involved 9 companies and 14 executives. The Denso executives will pay a criminal fine of $20,000 and also serve time in US prison (16 months).
Denso also pleaded guilty for conspiring and agreed to pay a fine of $78 million in 2012. The executives conspired in changing the prices for heater control panels used to regulate a vehicle’s temperature, and were sold to Toyota and a subsidiary in the US, said the Justice Department.
At the beginning of this year Denso announced it was considering adding 400 new jobs at its plant in Battle Creek and at its U.S. headquarters in Southfield. The company sees as encouraging the auto industry’s return to stability in the United States, where auto sales are expected to reach up to 15.5 million units in 2013.
Suzuki also pleaded guilty for conspiring to fix prices on electronic control units, which regulate power locks, power windows and other electrical systems. The other companies with which the Justice Department has settled are G.S. Electech, Yazaki Corp, Furukawa Electric, Fujikura, Nippon Seiki, TRW Deutschland Holding, Tokai Rika and Autoliv.