US: Takata agrees to pay US$71.3m for seatbelt price fixing

By Graeme Roberts | 11 October 2013

Takata will settle antitrust charges with US federal prosecutors by paying US$71.3mn for price fixing seatbelts sold to automakers, Reuters reported.

According to the company, Gary Walker, a Takata executive in the US agreed to plead guilty to price fixing and will pay a US$20,000 fine and serve 14 months in prison.

Investigators in various countries have been looking into alleged price fixing of over 30 types of car parts, including air conditioning systems, seat belts, windscreen wipers, radiators, power window motors and power steering components.

Takata said CEO Shigehisa Takada would take a 30% cut in pay and other directors 15%. The supplier will book an extraordinary charge of $72m against its July-September quarterly earnings.

Other auto parts companies, which have settled with antitrust authorities include Tokai Rika, Autoliv, TRW Deutschland, Furukawa Electric, Fujikura and Nippon Seiki.