Two officials from Japan-based auto part suppliers T.RAD Co Ltd and Mitsuba Corp have decided to plead guilty and accepted going to jail in the United States.
The executives have been sentenced to jail terms in the Justice Department’s ongoing fight against price fixing in the auto parts industry in the US – with numerous companies and persons indicted for being involved in price fixing schemes. The US Justice Department, together with antitrust regulators worldwide have been probing price modifications of at least 30 car parts, including seat belts, air-conditioning systems, power window motors and power steering components.
One of the executives is Kazumi Umahashi, a former general manager of Mitsuba, who agreed to serve 13 months in a US prison for violating antitrust regulations and conspiring to set illegal prices of windshield wiper systems and starter motors sold to Honda, according to the Justice Department. The second case involves Kosei Tamura, a T.RAD executive, who also pleaded guilty to charges of fixing the prices of automobile radiators sold to the same automaker – he received a 366 days prison sentence. They were both also fined $20,000 each. The two companies are among the 32 other businesses that decided to plead guilty after being indicted by the Justice Department for price fixing of automotive components. With the two executives sent to prison, a total of 48 persons have been charged with rigging bids or fixing prices of auto parts.