WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japan-based Alpha Corp will pay a $9 million criminal fine after admitting its role in "a price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy" over automotive access mechanisms used in cars, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

In a statement, the department said a one-count felony charge had been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit regarding the scheme involving the mechanisms, which it said are meant to be installed in cars made and sold in the United States, among other places.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)