Airbag maker ‘col­luded’ with ri­vals

The New Age (Gauteng) - - SPORT - THELMA NGOMA thel­man@the­

GLOBAL man­u­fac­turer Takata Cor­po­ra­tion, and its lo­cal arm Takata South Africa, are fac­ing hefty fines and prose­cu­tion on four sep­a­rate cases in­volv­ing price fix­ing, mar­ket di­vi­sion and col­lu­sive ten­der­ing.

A Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion shows the Ja­pan­based firm col­luded with other mo­tor safety prod­uct sup­pli­ers in re­spect of ten­ders for Honda Civic, Honda CRV, BMW and Toy­ota Yaris ve­hi­cles.

Takata, Takata SA, TRW Au­to­mo­tive and TRW Oc­cu­pant Re­straints SA col­luded on a ten­der is­sued by BMW in 2007 for the man­u­fac­ture and sup­ply of airbags, seat belts and steer­ing wheels/ driver airbags for the BMW F25 (X3).

Takata and TRW dis­closed their prices to each other and agreed not to com­pete with each other.

TRW won the ten­der to sup­ply tho­rax airbags, cur­tain airbags and rear seat belts while Takata won the ten­der to sup­ply airbags, front seat belts and steer­ing wheel/driver airbags. This was in line with the col­lu­sive ar­range­ment.

TRW sub­se­quently ap­proached the com­mis­sion and ap­plied for le­niency in ex­change for full in­for­ma­tion dis­clo­sure and co­op­er­a­tion with the com­mis­sion when pros­e­cut­ing Takata.

In 2007, Honda is­sued a ten­der for seat belts for Honda Civic ve­hi­cles. At the time, Takata sup­plied Honda Civic seat belts while US com­pany Au­to­liv sup­plied seat belts for other Honda mod­els. The com­pa­nies – which are com­peti­tors – agreed to fix ­prices, di­vide mar­kets and ten­der col­lu­sively.

The reg­u­la­tor says it is not seek­ing penal­ties against Au­to­liv and its sub­sidiary as it has set­tled with the com­mis­sion. Au­to­liv con­cluded a set­tle­ment agree­ment with the com­mis­sion last year and agreed to pay an ad­min­is­tra­tive penalty of R149m.

In­for­ma­tion that sur­faced shows that at around 2008, Honda in­vited Au­to­liv and Takata, among oth­ers, to sub­mit bids for a Honda Leg­ends ten­der it had is­sued. Dur­ing this time, Honda was also pre­par­ing to is­sue a ten­der for Honda CRV.

Takata and Au­to­liv dis­cussed both ten­ders and agreed to co­or­di­nate prices and bids. This was to en­sure that Takata would win the seat belts, airbags and steer­ing wheels ten­der for the Honda Leg­end while Au­to­liv, in turn, would win the con­tract to sup­ply seat belts for the Honda CRV mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

Also in 2008,Toy­ota is­sued a ten­der and in­vited Au­to­liv, Takata and oth­ers to sub­mit bids for a ten­der to sup­ply seat belts for the Yaris.

These four cases are fac­ing prose­cu­tion and the reg­u­la­tor says they must be held li­able for penal­ties in each case.

PRICE OF SAFETY: Takata SA could be slapped with a hefty penalty over re­ported wrong­do­ing and price fix­ing in the car safety prod­uct sec­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.