JOHANNESBURG - Toyoda Gosei, the Japanese manufacturer and supplier of car safety-system products, including airbags, has signed a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission in terms of which it agreed to pay a penalty totalling R6.16million for price fixing, dividing markets and collusive tendering.

The company engaged in this cartel conduct with its competitors, bankrupt global airbag and seat-belt manufacturer and supplier Takata Corporation of Japan and multinational component supplier Autoliv.

The settlement follows a commission investigation into collusive conduct by manufacturers of global car safety-system products, which supply airbags, seat belts and steering wheels to companies including Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Peugeot and Daimler AG.

The investigation found that Toyoda colluded with Takata and Autoliv in respect of two separate requests for quotes issued by Toyota for airbags for its Yaris and Auris models.

Autoliv admitted last year to 15 instances in which it was involved in prohibited practices, including price fixing, market division, collusive tendering and/or exchanging commercially sensitive information with its competitors, including TRW Automotive, Takata, Toyoda and Tokai Rika.

File image: IOL.

In terms of a settlement Autoliv entered into with the commission, which was confirmed by the Competition Tribunal, Autoliv agreed to pay a fine of R149.96m for engaging in a number of prohibited anti-competitive practices in tenders issued by BMW and Volkswagen for the manufacture and supply of airbags, seat belts and steering wheels.

Additional

The Competition Commission earlier this week confirmed it had referred an additional 17 collusive tendering, price fixing and market division charges against Takata Corporation and its local arm, Takata South Africa, to the tribunal for prosecution. This follows the commission in March this year referring four charges against Takata Corporation and Takata South Africa to the tribunal for prosecution.

The latest charges involved collusion related to tenders issued between 2006 and 2011 by BMW, Toyota and VW for the manufacture and supply of a variety of automotive components, including airbags, seat belts and steering wheels.

The four charges referred to the tribunal in March involved price fixing, market division and collusive tendering on tenders issued for Honda, BMW and Toyota vehicle models.

TRW was granted leniency from prosecution in terms of the commission’s corporate leniency policy.

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- BUSINESS REPORT