WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Japan's Yamada Manufacturing Co. agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine and plead guilty to a single felony count of fixing the prices of steering columns, the U.S. Justice Department said.
The steering columns were sold to Honda Motor Co., the department said Tuesday.
“Yamada’s collusion deprived Honda and its U.S. customers the benefits of freely set prices for manual steering columns, a simple but necessary auto part,” Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s antitrust division said in a statement.
According to the charge, Yamada carried out the conspiracy from at least as early as the fall of 2007 and continuing until as late as September 2012, the department said. The charges are subject to court approval.
Yamada's plea brings to 35 the number of companies which have pleaded guilty in the United States to conspiring to fix the prices of a broad range of auto parts and to pay more than $2.5 billion in fines.
A total of 29 executives have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty.