Four Class Actions Allege Price Fixing, Seek $5 Million in Damages

An international investigation of price fixing has led to four class-action lawsuits alleging that a scheme to raise the price of wire harnesses in turn raised the price of vehicles, Crain’s Detroit Business reported on October 18, 2011. Court documents show the class action suits seek damages exceeding $5 million.

According to Crain’s, the suits stem from an investigation of the global wire harness business that began in 2010, with the U.S. Department of Justice and officials from the European Union and Japan being involved in the investigations. The Justice Department hit Furukawa with a $200 million fine, and Crain’s said three of its executives are scheduled to plead guilty for their role in alleged global price-fixing scheme. The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided several suppliers in its antitrust investigation, but the company’s North American subsidiary, American Furukawa, took the first blow as a result of the 20-month investigation.

We have posted before how price fixing creates profit for some companies by ultimately driving up the cost for the consumer. The cost of the wire harness in your vehicle is certainly not a common form of auto dealership fraud, but antitrust laws are supposed to protect Americans from price fixing between manufacturers and retailers. State and federal laws are in place to make sure you are not deceived in your car purchase, and if you believe that a dealership violated California lemon law, contact our California lemon law attorneys today to get a free evaluation of your case.