General

Auto Parts Antitrust $3.2 Million Class Action Settlement

Close up of various car parents on a wooden table.

Certain car owners could benefit from a $3.152 million settlement — round five of a $1.2 billion class action settlement for auto parts to settle antitrust allegations.

The settlement benefits individuals who have purchased or leased an eligible new vehicle in the United States between 2002 and 2018 or who paid to replace (not for resale) one or more eligible vehicle parts. A full list of eligible vehicles and applicable time periods can be found on the settlement website.

Auto parts manufacturers often produce the same or similar parts for numerous vehicles under different brands. Electronic braking systems manufactured by, for example: Robert Bosch can be used in multiple car brands.

According to several coordinated antitrust class action lawsuits, auto parts manufacturers have colluded to artificially inflate and fix the price of vehicle parts. This behavior was reportedly the subject of the largest-ever antitrust investigation conducted by the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

“To date, as a result of its widespread investigation, the DOJ has indicted more than 100 individuals and companies for criminal antitrust violations and has to date imposed more than $2.9 billion in criminal fines on various auto parts manufacturers. auto parts class action lawsuit notes.

Although manufacturers faced the repercussions of federal authorities, consumers argued that they should pay compensation directly from the companies. The vehicle owners and renters demanded compensation for the alleged overpayment for auto parts and vehicles.

The auto parts manufacturers have admitted no mistakes, but have agreed to pay $1.2 billion to resolve these claims. Around one to four of the settlement resolved claims from various manufacturers and covered parts such as air conditioning systems, brake hoses, bearings and more.

The fifth and current settlement round includes $3.152 million and resolves claims with Bosal Industries Georgia Inc., Bosal USA, Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert Bosch LLC, ZF TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Lucas Automotive GmbH.

Auto parts that fall into round five are electronic braking systems, hydraulic braking systems and exhaust systems.

Under the terms of the Auto Parts Antitrust Regulations, class members may receive a cash payment based on the number of vehicles purchased, amount paid for replacement parts, and other factors.

Payments will be proportional based on these factors, although all group members will receive at least $100 for claims in all rounds of the settlement.

The deadline for exclusion and objection is December 20, 2022.

The final approval hearing for the auto parts antitrust regime is scheduled for January 12, 2023.

To receive settlement benefits, group members must submit a valid claim form by January 7, 2023. Group members who have submitted a claim during rounds one through four are not required to submit another claim form.