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Price Fixing in the Auto Parts Industry

August 19th, 2014 Salvage Hunter Auto Parts

It was nearly four years ago that first brought a huge problem to people’s attentions when it comes to the auto parts industry. It was then that FBI raids had been made on a few compounds and companies that stretched into multiple of continents. Unfortunately, it hadn’t ended back then, and also resulted in the majority of people buying auto parts taking hits on large sums of money because the whole operation being cracked down on was price fixing for auto parts and sometimes whole cars.


The conspiracy hasn’t ended though, and frequent companies are still discovered regularly trying to fix prices to make a bigger bang for their buck. This included a recent discovery with a Japanese company that was charged with conspiring to fix the prices of heater control panels sold to Toyota. This discovery suggested that a number of Toyota cars recently had been pricier than they had needed to be because of this price inflation scheme, but Toyota was not involved in the incident other than being a victim too.


The majority of this price fixing has occurred through secret meetings and destroying documents to remove paper trails. And worst of all it is being done in an industry that can be manipulated in this way because there are just so few companies supplying auto parts and that means just a few companies need to get together and decide to have the price of a certain part raised and there just isn’t much people can do about it.


Luckily, the police are still cracking down on situations like this as they arrive and giving people as much help as they can. There’s a bonus with many countries being cooperative with the United States in these investigations, including the people arrested for the price fixing, because they would prefer to pay their fines and get things over with before having their home country crack down on them and prevent things like leaving the country, which could kill their job by lack of travel options.


Thankfully, the price fixing doesn’t affect second hand auto parts in the industry and many smaller companies in auto parts manage to escape the issues, it just seems to be the larger suppliers that are getting caught up in the five-year-long investigation. So be careful with any of your auto part buys, especially when you aren’t buying them in person.


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