auto parts http://michiganradio.org en U.S. car buyers paid more because of price fixing http://michiganradio.org/post/us-car-buyers-paid-more-because-price-fixing <p>WASHINGTON – A price-fixing investigation into the auto parts industry has mushroomed into the Justice Department's largest criminal antitrust probe ever, and it's not over.</p><p>The investigation was made public four years ago with FBI raids in the Detroit area.</p><p>It's led to criminal charges against dozens of people and companies, stretched across continents and reverberated through an industry responsible for supplying critical car components.</p><p>Thirty-four individuals have been charged and 27 companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to do so. Collectively, they've agreed to pay about $2.3 billion in fines.</p><p>A Justice Department official says it's safe to say that U.S. car buyers paid more as a result of the conspiracy.</p><p>Officials say the investigation stands out for its scope and for the cooperation received from Japan, Australia and other countries.</p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 15:02:26 +0000 The Associated Press 17759 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. car buyers paid more because of price fixing Auto parts price-fixing probe rattles industry http://michiganradio.org/post/auto-parts-price-fixing-probe-rattles-industry <p>WASHINGTON (AP) - A price-fixing investigation into the auto parts industry has mushroomed into the Justice Department's largest criminal antitrust probe ever, and it's not over.</p> Sun, 25 May 2014 15:59:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17746 at http://michiganradio.org Auto parts price-fixing probe rattles industry U.S. auto production might struggle to meet demand http://michiganradio.org/post/us-auto-production-might-struggle-meet-demand <p>U.S. auto companies are faced with pent up demand from consumers at a time when their supplies for parts and materials are getting squeezed.</p><p>The Associated Press reports the shortages could limit the number of vehicles companies can sell, and squeeze a historic turnaround for the U.S. auto industry.</p><blockquote><p>The most immediate problem &mdash; a <a href="http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2012/04/auto_industry_faces_slowdown_o.html">shortage of a crucial plastic resin,</a> caused by an explosion March 31 at a plant in Germany &mdash; could surface in a few weeks. And later this year or beyond, automakers could be confronted with an even bigger crisis, running short of parts simply because there aren&#39;t enough factories and people to make them.</p></blockquote><p>The AP points out that the new process for manufacturing makes automakers vulnerable to these kinds of disruptions because auto suppliers don&#39;t stockpile parts the way they used to.</p><blockquote><p>Instead, to hold down warehouse and inventory costs, they rely on a &quot;just in time&quot; system in which parts are delivered just days or hours ahead of when they are needed. Thu, 19 Apr 2012 14:33:31 +0000 Mark Brush 7102 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. auto production might struggle to meet demand Owners of auto parts company charged with fraud http://michiganradio.org/post/owners-auto-parts-company-charged-fraud <p>CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Two brothers whose Michigan company supplies parts to the auto industry have been charged with fraud in an investigation of the quality of plastic.</p><p>Orman and David Bernhardt of Davalor Mold are accused of using less expensive materials than required in seat belt assemblies and then covering it up through false reports.</p><p>The fraud charge was filed Monday. Their lawyer is Bob Sheehan, and he says a guilty plea is planned.</p><p>He says there&#39;s &quot;absolutely no safety issue.&quot; Sheehan says the parts were tested by federal regulators.</p><p>Davalor Mold is in Macomb County&#39;s Chesterfield Township, about 30 miles northeast of Detroit. The company works for Tier I auto suppliers, which supply parts for automakers. The alleged scheme lasted for two years until spring 2010. Mon, 16 May 2011 20:59:00 +0000 The Associated Press 2517 at http://michiganradio.org Howell auto parts plant fire http://michiganradio.org/post/howell-auto-parts-plant-fire <p>Investigators are picking through what&rsquo;s left after a fire heavily damaged an auto parts plant in Howell on Wednesday.&nbsp; Dozens of firefighters from six different Livingston County communities joined forces to battle the blaze at the Magna Atreum auto parts plant.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>About 450 people work at the plant which produces dashboards, consoles and other parts for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan and Mazda.&nbsp; The cause of the fire is still under investigation.&nbsp;</p><p>The full extent of the damage and how long it will take get to the facility back up and running is also still being reviewed.&nbsp; No one was injured in Wednesday&rsquo;s fire. Thu, 03 Mar 2011 14:47:17 +0000 Steve Carmody 1489 at http://michiganradio.org