U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani, in the district of Michigan, gave initial approval to a $12.16 million proposed settlement that would end claims in multidistrict litigation that a Japanese auto parts supplier participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to hinder competition by fixing the prices of ceramic substrates sold to U.S. automakers.
The settling defendants were NGK Insulators Ltd. and NGK Automotive Ceramics USA Inc. The proposed settlement class would include everyone who has bought or leased a new vehicle in the U.S. since July 1, 1999, that included a ceramic substrate part manufactured by NGK or indirectly bought such an item as a replacement part.
The litigation stemmed from a criminal investigation by authorities including the U.S. Department of Justice into the roles of auto parts suppliers in separate schemes to fix the prices of more than 30 products that were sold to carmakers. NGK Insulators agreed in 2015 to pay a $65.3 million criminal fine for its role in the scheme.
The MDL is In re: Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, case number 2:12-md-02311, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.