Additional Settlement Reached in Massive Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation

Hollis Salzman photo

New York—May 8, 2014—Plaintiffs have secured an additional settlement in one of the massive antitrust proceedings against automobile parts manufacturers, which is part of the largest criminal international antitrust investigation in United States history.  The settlement calls for Lear Corp. and Kyungshin-Lear Sales and Engineering, LLC to pay almost $3.4 million to class members who include businesses and consumers who purchased automobiles and to cooperate with plaintiffs in the case against the remaining defendants.

 The class action proceeding, pending in federal court in Michigan, sweeps together a litany of price-fixing and bid-rigging claims surrounding the defendants’ sale of more than two dozen automotive parts for use in new automobiles.  The suit charged Lear Corp., and its affiliates, among other manufacturers, with anti-competitive conduct in the market for Wire Harness Systems which are cables or wires and data circuits that run throughout a vehicle.

The allegations in the class actions, brought by consumers and others, stem from a Department of Justice antitrust investigation that has already resulted in corporate fines of $2.3 billion and guilty pleas from 27 different companies and 25 executives.  Hollis Salzman of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Co-Lead Counsel for the end-payor plaintiffs and Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice represents a group of nearly 50 individual purchasers of new automobiles containing the auto parts at issue in the litigation. Settlements in the case now total more than $7.8 million.