Continental Automotive Electronics LLC and Continental Automotive Korea Ltd, two South Korean auto parts suppliers, have acknowledged and agreed to plead guilty after being charged for bid rigging.
The US Department of Justice made the announcement about the decision of the South Korean duo, as they tampered with auctions for car parts purchased by automakers. The department said the duo was moderately punished with a fine of just $4 million. The accusations include rigging bids for instrument panel clusters (they are the traditional dashboard instruments such as the speedometer, fuel gauge or the seat belt light), and those parts were acquired by Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp. The DOJ added that the conspiracy to falsify the auctions span from around 2004 to 2012.
The department has been fighting a long-running war in the auto sector against the companies that decided to violate the US antitrust law and now the total of parts makers that have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty to price fixing or other violations has gone up to 32. There is also a tally of 46 people that agreed to plead guilty or did plead guilty as part of the ongoing investigations in the auto business, with 26 of them also sentenced to serve prison time in the United States.