South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has fined the local units of Denso Corp., Continental AG and Bosch around KRW114.6 billion ($107.99 million) for their role in fixing prices of components sold to Hyundai Motor Co. The fine comes as their counterparts in the United States, Europe and Japan continue their crackdown on price collusion among auto parts makers.
The covered parts include those for air-conditioning systems, seat belts, windshield wipers, radiators, power window motors and power steering. The Fair Trade Commission remarked that the units of Denso, Continental and Bosch had rigged prices of instrument panels and wipers sold to Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors. Affected vehicles include Hyundai's Sonata, Elantra and Kia's Pride and Carnival.
Denso, a South Korean unit, and a Continental unit were found involved in price-fixing of instrument panels from January 2008 to March 2012 that were installed on 11 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Denso and another Korean unit and that of Bosch were found to have colluded on the prices of wipers between August 2008 and February 2009.
The two Denso units were met with the biggest fine at KRW63 billion, followed by Continental Automotive Electronics at KRW46 billion and the Bosch unit at KRW5.6 billion. The US Justice Department and antitrust enforcers around the world have been investigating allegations of price fixing of over 30 car parts involving 20 companies and 21 executives. The companies have agreed to pay a total of $1.6 billion in fines.