Autoliv settles three US class actions over price fixing

Article by Andrew Christian, on June 6, 2014

Autoliv has taken in three separate settlements in antitrust class actions in the United States, expecting to post $65 million in costs in the second quarter. The lawsuits were filed by different customers for its safety systems in the US. According to Autoliv, it was not admitting any liability and is settling the lawsuits to avoid the “uncertainty, risk, expense and distraction” of further class action litigation.

The settlements will effectively release Autoliv from any claims and demands that could have been asserted against the supplier.

Antitrust regulators in the US and elsewhere in the world have been investigation companies and executives for alleged price fixing of over 30 types of car parts like seat belts, radiators, windshield wipers, air-conditioning systems, power window motors and power steering components.

Autoliv reached an agreement in 2012 to pay $14.5 million in fines in the price-fixing probe and also pleaded guilty. The US Justice Department's Antitrust Division has already reached settlement with companies like Takata, Tokai Rika, TRW Deutschland Holding, Nippon Seiki, Furukawa Electric and Fujikura.

Twenty-six auto suppliers, mostly from Japan, have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty to similar charges in the US, incurring with fines and settlements that have reached $2.3 billion.

The Department said that as of May 22, 2014, 35 supplier executives have been charged with price fixing. Likewise, 24 executives have pleaded guilty or have agreed to plead guilty while 22 have received prison sentences of up to two years.

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