(Corrects the dollar value of Eberspaecher's 2012 sales in
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, March 25 EU competition regulators
have raided several car parts makers involved in producing
vehicle exhaust systems, including French firm Faurecia
, Germany's Eberspaecher Group and TenneCo of
the United States, as part of a wider probe into suspected price
fixing in the auto industry.
Regulators in the United States, Japan, Europe and Canada
have already levied multi-dollar fines in recent years against
various car parts makers for fixing prices of various products
including seatbelts, radiators, windscreen wipers and air
The European Commission said on Tuesday the companies
targeted in the latest investigation into the exhaust systems
market may also have operated a cartel and abused their
dominance. It did not name the companies nor the countries where
the raids took place, in line with its usual policy.
However, Faurecia, which is 52-percent owned by French
carmaker Peugeot Citroen, confirmed the raid.
"The European Commission antitrust authorities have launched
investigations into suppliers of emission control systems," the
company said. "Faurecia is cooperating fully with the European
Meanwhile TenneCo said the EU regulator raided its
Edenkoben administrative facility in Germany and that it had
also received a related subpoena from the U.S. Department of
"The company is fully cooperating with the authorities,"
Eberspaecher, which is based in Esslingen, near Stuttgart,
has around 7,300 employees and generated sales of more than 2.8
billion euros ($3.86 billion) in 2012, also confirmed the EU
A spokesman for Belgian car parts supplier Bosal said his
company was not involved in the EU investigation.
The Commission, which can fine companies up to 10 percent of
their global turnover for breaching EU rules, is investigating
suspected cartels involving more than 100 vehicle components
made by more than 70 companies.
Earlier this month it hit German engineering group
Schaeffler, Sweden's SKF and three Japanese car parts
makers with a total 953.3 million-euro fine for operating a
cartel for car and truck ball bearings.
($1 = 0.7258 Euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, Robert-Jan Bartunek, Laurence Frost
in Paris and Bernie Woodall in Detroit, Edward Taylor and Ilona
Wissenback in Stuttgart; Editing by Robin Emmott and Greg