CarJapanese car parts manufacturer, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. has agreed to pay $50 million to exit multidistrict litigation brought by purchasers of automobiles who accuse a group of automotive wire harness and heater control panel suppliers of price-fixing.

That brings the settlement total to over $200 million in the antitrust case currently being waged in Michigan federal court.  We represent an Oregon plaintiff, and seek to represent the Oregon class in this litigation.

Cases from across the country have been consolidated by the MDL panel in Michigan federal court.  The lawsuits stem from the U.S. Department of Justic’s own expansive, ongoing investigation into the auto parts industry, which has already yielded more than $2 billion in fines. There are a number of different lawsuits relating to different automotive parts.

In August, the court freed several parts manufacturers from various state-law antitrust, consumer protection and unjust enrichment claims made by indirect purchasers in the MDL. In the same order, U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani refused to dismiss the indirect-purchaser plaintiffs’ Montana Consumer Protection Act claims and Oregon and Hawaii antitrust-law claims against Denso, Mitsuba Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Robert Bosch GmbH, Aisan Corp. of America, Toyo Automotive Parts (USA) Inc., ASMO Co. Ltd. and others.

The MDL is In re: Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, case number 2:12-md-02311, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.