Manufacturers of belts and airbags accused of cartelsMarch 13, 2019
In Europe, a new scandal – this time the European Commission accuses three manufacturers of car security elements of cartel collusion. Two fines, and the third for the denunciation received immunity.
Curious story: an investigation conducted by the European Union Anti-Monopoly Committee revealed that in the period from 2007 to 2011 three companies – Autoliv, TRW Automotive and Takata entered into a cartel agreement in order to become the only suppliers of automotive safety elements (belts and airbags) for two auto concerns – Volkswagen Group and BMW.
For this illegal activity, Autoliv and TRW will be fined by the European Commission for a total of 368.3 million euros. The Japanese supplier, Takata, was also part of the agreement, but would not be fined due to the immunity granted to him, obtained in exchange for disclosing details of the cartel collusion.
“This is the second time we punish suppliers of automotive safety elements for participating in a cartel,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margret Vestager. In this case, the three vendors conspired to increase their profits from the sale of these vital components. Due to the lack of healthy competition in the security products market, not only other suppliers and participants in the automotive sector, but, above all, consumers, have suffered. ”
Now TRW Automotive, which in 2015 was acquired by German ZF Friedrichshafen, will have to pay a fine of 188 million euros, while the Autoliv pocket will be “relieved” for more than 179 million euros.
Last year, Takata almost went bankrupt after a scandal with a serious airbag defect. This led to the largest product recall in automotive history. If not for informing the company of other participants in the conspiracy, it would have been fined 195 million euros.
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