Certain vehicle owners could benefit from a $3.152 million settlement — round five of a $1.2 billion auto parts class action settlement resolving antitrust allegations.
The settlement benefits individuals who purchased or leased an eligible new vehicle in the United States between 2002 and 2018 or who paid to replace one or more qualifying vehicle parts (not for resale). A full list of eligible vehicles and applicable time periods can be found on the settlement website.
Automotive parts manufacturers often produce the same or similar parts for countless vehicles under a range of brands. For example, electronic braking systems manufactured by Robert Bosch could be used in multiple vehicle brands.
According to several coordinated antitrust class action lawsuits, automotive parts manufacturers conspired together to artificially raise and fix the price of vehicle components. This conduct was allegedly the subject of the largest-ever antitrust investigation pursued by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
“To date, as a result of its widespread investigation, the DOJ has charged more than 100 individuals and companies with criminal antitrust violations and the DOJ has levied, to date, more than $2.9 billion in criminal fines against various automotive parts manufacturers,” the auto parts class action lawsuit notes.
Although manufacturers faced consequences from federal authorities, consumers argued they were owed compensation directly from the companies. The vehicle owners and lessees sought compensation for alleged overpayment for car parts and vehicles.
The vehicle parts manufacturers haven’t admitted any wrongdoing but agreed to pay $1.2 billion to resolve these claims. Rounds one to four of the settlement resolved claims from various manufacturers and covered parts such as air conditioning systems, brake hoses, bearings and more.
The fifth and current round of the settlement includes $3.152 million and resolves claims with Bosal Industries Georgia Inc., Bosal USA, Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert Bosch LLC, ZF TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Lucas Automotive GmbH.
Automotive parts covered by round five are electronic braking systems, hydraulic braking systems and exhaust systems.
Under the terms of the auto parts antitrust settlement, class members can receive a cash payment based on the number of vehicles purchased, the amount paid for replacement parts and other factors.
Payments will be proportional based on these factors, though all class members will receive at least $100 for claims across all rounds of the settlement.
The deadline for exclusion and objection is Dec. 20, 2022.
The final approval hearing for the auto parts antitrust settlement is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2023.
In order to receive settlement benefits, class members must submit a valid claim form by Jan. 7, 2023. Class members who submitted a claim during rounds one through four do not need to file another claim form.