Escambia County received a portion of Florida’s $13 million settlement for price-fixing claims against a major auto parts manufacturer.
The county received $33,473.92 after the funds were distributed to over 80 local governments affected by the company’s practices.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said the funding came after investigations into more than 60 manufacturers, including Hitachi, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric. An investigation into the conduct of both companies found evidence that manufacturers were fixing prices and fraudulently conducting contract bids. As a result of corporate actions, public bodies paid more for vehicles needed for public service, including police cars.
“These auto parts makers set high prices and fraudulent contract bids, causing local and state governments to spend more on vehicles needed for critical public services such as police cruisers. We are proud to announce the conclusions of our investigation into the conduct of these companies and to secure more than $13 million for affected entities in the state,” Moody said.
The investigation found evidence that approximately 60 companies likely violated antitrust laws. Companies, including major auto parts suppliers, engaged in price hikes on many items, including lamps, radiators, air conditioning systems and airbags. As a result of this action, public agencies in Florida paid more for vehicles (such as police cars) needed to perform necessary public services.
According to Moody’s, the companies surveyed include: Faurecia SA, Fujikura, Furukawa, GS Electech, Green Tokai, Hitachi, Hitachi Metals, Inoac, JTEKT Corp, Keihin, Kiekert AG, Koito Mfg, KYB, Lear, Leoni, MAHLE Behr GmbH, Maruyasu Industries Co., Meritor, Mikuni, Mitsuba, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nachi-Fujikoshi, NGK Insulators, NGK Spark Plug, Nippon Seiki, Nishikawa Rubber, NSK, NTN, Omron, Panasonic, Sanden, Sanoh Industries, Schaeffler, Showa Corporation, SKF, Stanley Electric, Sumitomo Shoji, Sumitomo Riko, T-Rad, Tenneco, Tokai Rika, Toyo Denso, Toyo Tire & Rubber, Toyoda Gosei, TRW, Usui Kokusai Sangyo, Valeo Japan, Yamada, Yamashita Rubber, Yazaki.