By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd <6501.T> agreed to plead guilty to fixing the price of shock absorbers installed in U.S. autos and to pay a criminal fine of $55.48 million, the Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday.
The plea agreement is the latest in a long-running international probe into price fixing of auto parts. With this agreement, 46 companies and 64 people have been charged in connection with the U.S. investigation, the department said
Hitachi had pleaded guilty in 2013 to fixing the price of starters and other auto parts, the department said.
According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Hitachi Automotive worked with unnamed competitors from the mid-1990s to 2011 to decide who would provide shock absorbers to which buyers and to coordinate prices.
Suzuki Motor Corp <7269.T> and Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> were the buyers, the complaint said.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by G Crosse and Frances Kerry)