• Kyodo


Automotive and hydraulic equipment maker Kayaba Industry Co. has agreed to pay a $62 million fine for its role in a price fixing scheme for shock absorbers for cars and motorcycles sold in the United States, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The Tokyo-based company, better known as KYB Corp., will plead guilty to the allegation that it conspired to rig the prices of the component sold in the United States to Japanese automakers and their subsidiaries from the mid-1990s to 2012, the department said.

The affected Japanese manufacturers were Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., known for its Subaru brand cars, Honda Motor Co., Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Nissan Motor Co., Suzuki Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., it said.

Kayaba Industry said in a statement that its chairman, president and vice president will voluntarily return 30 percent of their monthly remuneration for three months in view of the “serious consequences for our stakeholders.”

The company “will work to restore the trust of … stakeholders as well as the public by implementing more comprehensive compliance programs,” it said.

The department accused Kayaba Industry and its two co-conspirators, whose names were withheld, of having colluded on the price submitted to the targeted vehicle manufacturers.

To keep prices up, the three parties also agreed to coordinate on price adjustments requested by the vehicle manufacturers and tried to keep their conduct secret, it said.

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