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Settlements continue in alleged auto parts conspiracy.

Byline: Michigan Lawyers Weekly Staff

This case involves an alleged conspiracy among some of the automotive industry's largest manufacturers and suppliers of automotive parts. Plaintiffs' counsel represents consumers who purchased or leased a new vehicle which included one or more of the parts at issue (the "end payor class"). Plaintiffs allege that defendants agreed, during meetings and conversations, to sell certain automotive parts at noncompetitive prices to automobile manufacturers in the United States and elsewhere.

The United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") and the Japanese Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC"), among other international law enforcement bodies, have been investigating these conspiracies in the market for automotive parts since at least February 2011, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") has participated in raids, and executed search warrants, in some of defendants' offices.

In 2015, the end payor plaintiffs entered into settlements with various defendants totaling $116,394,000. In 2016, the end payor plaintiffs entered into settlements with various defendants totaling $550,086,258. In 2017, the end payor plaintiffs entered into settlements with various defendants totaling $289,271,200.

The following settlements were approved by the U.S. District Court in 2018:

$15,200,000 settlement by Stanley Electric Co., Ltd. (and affiliated entities)

$12,730,000 settlement by NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. and NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc.

$11,121,840 settlement by Calsonic Kansei Corporation and CalsonicKansei North America, Inc.

$7,600,000 settlement by Sanden Automotive Components Corporation (and affiliated entities)

$5,320,000 settlement by Usui Kokusai Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd. and Usui International Corporation

$3,800,000 settlement by Continental Automotive Electronics LLC (and affiliated entities)

$2,698,000 settlement by ALPHA Corporation and Alpha Technology Corporation

$1,482,000 settlement by MAHLE Behr GmbH & Co. KG and MAHLE Behr USA Inc.

$760,000 settlement by Valeo S.A.

The following settlements were preliminarily approved by the U.S. District Court in 2018:

$44,840,000 settlement by Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (and affiliated entities)

$34,200,000 settlement by Tokai Rika, Co. Ltd. and TRAM, Inc.

$28,880,000 settlement by KYB Corporation and KYB Americas Corporation

$6,840,000 settlement by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Climate Control, Inc.

$5,320,000 settlement by Maruyasu Industries, Co., Ltd. and Curtis-Maruyasu America, Inc.

$5,168,000 settlement by Toyo Denso Co., Ltd. and Weastec, Inc.

$2,280,000 settlement by Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG and Brose North America

$950,000 settlement by Green Tokai Co. Ltd.

$836,000 settlement by Keihin Corporation and Keihin North America, Inc.

Devon P. Allard, counsel for plaintiff, provided case information.

Type of action: These consolidated class action cases are part of a multidistrict litigation against numerous automotive parts suppliers alleging violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, state antitrust statutes, and consumer protection statutes arising from a conspiracy to fix prices. The multiple classes include indirect purchasers (end payors/consumers), indirect purchasers (auto dealers), and direct purchasers. To date, the end-payor plaintiff class has obtained over $1 billion in settlements.

Injuries alleged: Economic damages

Name of case: In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation

Court/Case no./Date: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 12-MD-02311/Dec. 6, 2018

Name of judge: Hon. Marianne O. Battani

Settlement amount: $190,025,840 for several settlements entered into in 2018

Attorneys for plaintiff: E. Powell Miller and Devon P. Allard (liaison counsel for end payors/consumers); Hollis Salzman, Marc Seltzer, Adam Zapala (lead counsel for end payors/consumers)

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Title Annotation:In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Publication:Michigan Lawyers Weekly
Date:Mar 7, 2019
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