Honda supplier Omron to pay $4.55 million U.S. fine for price-fixing

A Japanese auto supplier to Honda Motor Co. with sales offices in suburban Detroit will plead guilty in federal court and pay a $4.55 million fine for rigging bids on the prices of power window switches on the Civic for years.

Komaki, Japan-based Omron Automotive Electronics Co. Ltd., parent company of Omron Automotive Electronics Inc., expects to enter a plea before U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds to a charge of conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, filed today in Detroit.

The company allegedly colluded with another manufacturer between 2003 and 2013 to suppress competition on window switches for Honda Civics in the 2006 and 2011 model years, according to a statement today from the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

Omron cooperated fully in the investigation and decided to enter the plea “upon overall consideration of applicable laws and relevant facts,” the company said in a statement. Omron has taken steps to strengthen its training programs to prevent the issue from happening again, the company said.

The new charge brought today brings the total to 39 automotive companies and 58 individual executives prosecuted in several states since the first plea agreement with the Justice Department in 2011. Fines assessed have totaled more than $2.6 billion, for the largest single-industry price-fixing prosecution in the division’s history.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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