UPDATE 1-Fujikura execs indicted in U.S. auto parts price fixing probe

Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:14pm EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Two Fujikura Ltd executives were indicted in Detroit Thursday on charges that they conspired to fix the prices of parts used in automotive electrical systems, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The indictments are the latest in a wide-ranging probe into price fixing of a variety of car parts that has ensnared 11 companies and 18 executives. Fujikura had pleaded guilty to price fixing in 2012 and was fined $20 million.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Ryoji Fukudome and Toshihiko Nagashima, who are both Japanese, for conspiring to fix the prices of automotive wire harnesses sold to Fuji Heavy Industries for use in the electrical systems of its Subaru cars.

The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

The two men have been accused of conspiring to fix the prices of the automotive electrical parts, monitoring the price-fixing deal and enforcing it.

The Justice Department did not name the company that Fujikura conspired with. Japan's Yazaki Corp previously agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices of automotive wire harnesses.

The parts involved in the Justice Department's investigation have included heater control panels that regulate a car's temperature, switches for turn signals and wiper blades, power locks, dashboard panel instruments, airbags, steering wheels and seat belts.

The European Commission has a parallel investigation under way.

Among the companies that the Justice Department's Antitrust Division has settled with are Autoliv, Tokai Rika Co Ltd , TRW Deutschland Holding GmbH, Nippon Seiki Col Ltd and Furukawa Electric Co Ltd.

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