(Adds background on case)
WASHINGTON Aug 19 NGK Spark Plug Co
has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $52.1 million criminal fine
over its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for
spark plugs and other automotive parts, the U.S. Department of
Justice said on Tuesday.
The department accused NGK, which is based in Nagoya, Japan,
of conspiring with other auto parts makers from January 2010 to
around July 2011 to manipulate prices for spark plugs, standard
oxygen sensors and air fuel ratio sensors sold to automakers
such as DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co,
Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp in the United States and
A one-count felony charge was filed against NGK with the
U.S. District Court in Detroit. The plea requires court
NGK, which has U.S. offices in Wixom, Michigan, did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
In connection with the plea, NGK agreed to cooperate with
the Justice Department's long-running probe into alleged price
fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry.
Twenty-eight companies and 26 executives have pleaded guilty
or agreed to plead guilty in the probe, and agreed to pay $2.4
billion of criminal fines, the Justice Department said.
(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Additional reporting by
Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Eric Beech and Leslie Adler)