On October 15, 2014 the Department of Justice recognized the historic achievements of the auto parts cartel investigation team, which was led by the Antitrust Division and the FBI. While the investigation is still ongoing, that may be the case for years as things wrap up or trials take place so it’s fitting for DOJ to recognize the extraordinary work done to date. Some of the award recipients have already left the DOJ.
Worldwide, the auto parts investigation is just getting started in some places. South Africa recently announced that it was investigating 82 automotive component manufacturers for collusion on 121 automotive components. By the time all global auto parts litigation is finally over, including civil suits, the matter may rival the Hundred Years War in length.
The Department’s announcement includes this:
The first Distinguished Service Award is presented to members of the investigative and litigation team responsible for exemplary performance in the prosecution of conspiracies in the automobile parts industry. This team, honored for its leadership, dedication and tireless investigation of global anticompetitive cartels, is responsible for the historic prosecution of over a dozen price-fixing, bid-rigging and market-allocation conspiracies in the automobile parts industry. This four-year investigation was unprecedented in both its scope and the volume of commerce affected by the illegal conduct. Due to the team’s efforts, 26 companies have agreed to pay fines totaling $2.3 billion and 20 individuals have been sentenced to serve jail sentences. The conspiracies uncovered by the investigation affected more than 25 million cars purchased by American consumers and over $5 billion in automotive parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers and automobile plants in 14 states. As a result of the extraordinary efforts of the team, competition was restored to the auto parts industry, and the companies and individuals responsible were held accountable for their illegal conduct.
Award recipients include, from the Antitrust Division, Chief Lisa M. Phelan; Assistant Chief Kathryn M. Hellings; Trial Attorneys Shane Cralle, Paul Gallagher, Kenneth W. Gaul, Mark C. Grundvig, Jason Jones and Eric Meiring; Washington Criminal I Section Secretary Priscilla Scruggs; Paralegal Unit Paralegal Specialist Meghan Ballard; and Office of Operations Trial Attorney Portia Brown; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agents Kristina Honeycutt and Faustine M. Smith-Neil; and from the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, Special Agent Douglas R. Wood Jr.
Congratulations to all.
 The 121 automotive components allegedly affected by the collusion include, but not limited to, Inverters, Electric Power Steering ECU, Electric Power Steering and Motors, Glow Plugs, Electric Power Steering systems, Rear Sunshades, Pressure Regulator, Pulsation Damper, Purge Control Valves, Accelerator Pedal Modules, Power Management Controller, Evaporative Fuel Canister systems, Knock Sensors, Spark Plugs and Clearance Sonar systems.