Eighth guilty plea in Competition Bureau’s motor vehicle components investigation
December 9, 2015 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. (Toyo), a Japanese manufacturer of automobile and truck tires and other rubber components, pleaded guilty today to three counts of bid‑rigging under the Competition Act and was fined $1.7 million for its participation in an international bid‑rigging conspiracy related to the supply of anti‑vibration components to Toyota Motor Corp., Ltd. (Toyota).
The Competition Bureau’s investigation found that between June 2004 and August 2006, Toyo engaged in secret agreements with other suppliers of anti‑vibration components in response to requests for quotes issued by Toyota for certain Corolla, RAV 4 and Lexus 350 RX models.
To date, the Bureau’s investigation involving motor vehicle components has resulted in eight guilty pleas and over $58 million in fines imposed by the courts since April 2013.
- Anti‑vibration components are rubber and metal parts of different shapes and sizes that are usually custom designed for specific automobile models in order to reduce noise and vibrations in various parts of motor vehicles.
- The Bureau first learned of cartel activity in the motor vehicle components industry by way of its Immunity Program, after which it began investigating in December 2009. The investigation also benefitted from the cooperation of numerous companies under the Bureau’s Leniency Program, in which Toyo also participated.
- The Bureau’s investigation relates to a series of alleged conspiracies and bid‑rigging agreements or arrangements among various suppliers in the sale and supply of components used in the manufacturing of motor vehicles in Canada and elsewhere.
"The Competition Bureau’s investigation into potential bid‑rigging and price‑fixing in the supply of motor vehicle components continues. We are committed to vigorously enforcing the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition Act against those who engage in anti‑competitive conduct, including both businesses and individuals. Cracking down on cartels has been and continues to be a top priority for the Bureau."
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.