WASHINGTON, Sept 24 An executive with Panasonic
Automotive Systems Corp was indicted on Tuesday on charges that
he conspired to fix the prices of steering wheel switches and
other parts sold to Toyota Motor Corp for cars sold in
the United States, the 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 19 executives. Panasonic agreed in July to pay
about a $45.8 million criminal fine in connection with the
The European Commission has a parallel investigation under
Shinichi Kotani, who is Japanese, conspired to fix the
prices of turn signal and headlight switches and related devices
from January 2004 to at least February 2010, according to the
The parts involved in the Justice Department's probe 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
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 Co Ltd and
Furukawa Electric Co Ltd and Fujikura Ltd.
The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan, Southern Division, and is No. 13-20700.