Settlements in Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation Reach $26 Million

New York—June 2, 2014—Plaintiffs have secured an additional settlement in one of the massive antitrust proceedings against automobile parts manufacturers, bringing total settlements in the End-Payor case to more than $26 million.The most recent settlement calls for Autoliv to pay $19 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 case follows on the heels of the largest criminal international antitrust investigation in United States history.

The class action proceeding, pending in federal court in Michigan, brings 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 allegations in the class actions stem from a Department of Justice antitrust investigation that has already resulted in corporate fines of $2.3 billion.To date, 27 different companies and 24 executives have pleaded or agreed to plead guilty as a result of the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into price-fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry.

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.

“This settlement is another step in the right direction,” said Salzman.“We continue to aggressively pursue our case against the remaining defendants to bring recovery to the class of injured consumers.”

Additional background

On Hollis Salzman:

  • Salzman serves as Co-Chair of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. in New York.
  • Salzman also serves as Co-Lead Counsel in In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, a private antitrust action against air cargo carriers that has resulted in more than $835 million in settlements to date.
  • Salzman’s professional bio is available here.
  • Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. attorneys Bernard Persky and William Reiss also represent the plaintiffs.

On civil proceedings:

  • The case, formally titled In re Automotive Parts Antitrust-Litigation, is a multi-district litigation (MDL) pending before the Hon. Marianne Battani in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • The proceeding was coordinated before Judge Battani in June 2012.
  • Federal and state law antitrust claims and state consumer protection claims against defendants accused of conspiring to fix prices of 29 different auto parts.

On criminal investigation:

  • Companies that have submitted guilty pleas include Aisin Industry Co., Ltd., Autoliv Inc., DENSO Corporation, Bridgestone Corporation, Diamond Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Electric Co., Ltd., Fujikura Ltd., Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd, G.S. Electech Inc., Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd., JTEKT Corporation, Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Mitsuba Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Nippon Seiki Co. Ltd., NSK Ltd., Panasonic Corp., Showa Corporation, Takata Corp., Tokai Rika Co. Ltd., Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., T. RAD Co., Ltd., TRW Deutschland Holding GmbH., Valeo Japan Co., Ltd., Yamashita Rubber Co., Ltd., and Yazaki Corp.