WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Panasonic Corp. agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing allegations involving automotive parts sold to Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
Panasonic will pay about a $45.8 million criminal fine, the department said in a statement.
Japan's Panasonic agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing on turn, wiper and other switches and steering angle sensors sold to Toyota Motor Corp., among others, and high intensity discharge ballasts sold to Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co.
Panasonic will plead guilty to three felony counts in connection with the conspiracy.
In a related matter, Panasonic subsidiaries Sanyo Electric Co. and LG Chem Ltd pleaded guilty to fixing prices of cylindrical lithium ion battery cells used in notebook computers, the department said.
Sanyo agreed to pay $10.7 million and LG Chem $1.1 million.
They face one count each of price-fixing. The charges were the first in a battery cell investigation.
Ten other companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in the auto parts probe. They are Japan's Diamond Electric Manufacturing Co., Tokai Rika, Autoliv, TRW Deutschland Holding GmbH, Nippon Seiki Co., Fujikura Ltd., Furukawa Electric Co., Denso Corp., Yazaki Corp. and G.S. Electech.
Fifteen executives either face sentencing or have already been sentenced to jail time and fines.