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
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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)