Ex-Denso exec to be jailed in U.S. over obstructing cartel probe

Kyodo

A former executive of Japanese auto parts maker Denso Corp. will be jailed in the United States after pleading guilty to obstructing a 2010 investigation of a price-fixing allegation, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

The move was part of the department’s probe of price fixing in the auto parts industry in which it cracked down on 29 people, including the former Denso executive, and 26 companies including Japanese ones.

The department said the former Denso executive, Kazuaki Fujitani, deleted numerous electronic documents including e-mails in February and March 2010 upon learning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had searched Denso’s U.S. subsidiary.

The deleted documents contained communications regarding requests for price quotation made by Toyota Motor Corp. for heater control panels for the Avalon sedan, it said.

The obstruction of justice charge was filed against Fujitani at a Michigan court Thursday and he has agreed to serve one year and one day in a U.S. prison, the department said.