TAKATA TO PLEAD GUILTY IN US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION

Takata Corporation, the Tokyo-based supplier of seat belts to Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Fuji (the parent company of Subaru) will pay a US$71.3 million fine to settle conspiracy to restrain trade charges brought by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

Takata is accused of conspiring with other companies between January 2003 and February 2011 to “suppress and eliminate competition in the automotive parts industry by agreeing to rig bids for, and to fix, stabilize and maintain the prices of certain seatbelts,” according to the criminal information sheet detailing charges against Takata, filed with the Detroit Court.

Reports indicate that Chairman and CEO Shigehisa Takada will take a 30 per cent cut in executive compensation while other directors take a 15 per cent cut. Gary Walker, a sales director at the company’s US subsidiary, TK Holdings, will reportedly serve a 14-month prison sentence and pay a US$20,000 fine.

Takata has pledged to continue to co-operate with ongoing Department of Justice investigations. The company stated that it “takes this matter seriously and has taken steps to strengthen its compliance programs to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Takata has also strengthened its internal control systems to prevent a recurrence and is committed to regaining the trust of our stakeholders.”

The car industry investigation is the largest ever conducted in the United States. Settlement agreements with US antitrust authorities have been reached by several companies, including Tokai Rika, TRW Deutschland, Furukawa Electric, Fujikura and Nippon Seiki.

From the Department of Justice, Scott Hammond, of the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program, said “Every time we discover a conspiracy involving the automotive industry, we seem to find another one.”

This entry was posted in Japan, Leniency, USA by Jasvinder Nakhwal. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jasvinder Nakhwal

Jasvinder Nakhwal is a partner specialising in all aspects of business crime, in particular criminal cartel investigations, mutual legal assistance and extradition. Chambers UK 2013 quoted that "Jasvinder Nakhwal continues to impress clients with her extensive experience in cartel defence work"... and has a "thriving extradition practice". Jasvinder trained with Peters & Peters and qualified in 2002 as an Associate. She became a Partner in 2010, in the Business Crime team. Jasvinder has in-depth experience in advising both corporate and individual clients in fraud-related matters, with a firmly-established expertise in respect of criminal cartels, extradition, mutual legal assistance and corruption matters. Many of her cases have a strong international element. Jasvinder has acted for clients who simultaneously face investigation by the European Commission, the US Department of Justice, the Canadian Competition Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. She also advises in respect of cash seizure and forfeiture cases brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and has acted in cases involving allegations of corruption, money laundering, tax and duty evasion in professional disciplinary matters and in inquests and independent inquiries. Jasvinder is a regular speaker on her areas of expertise.

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