DETROIT, July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, Larson • King, LLP, and Barrett Law Group, P.A. regarding the Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-md-02311
If You Are an Automobile Dealership that Purchased New Vehicles or Purchased Certain Parts for a Vehicle in the U.S. Since 1996
You Could Receive Money From Settlements of Class Actions
Lawsuits involving the prices of certain vehicle component parts have been settled with certain Defendants in various class actions in this litigation ("Settling Defendants"). The Settling Defendants are identified below. The cases are separate class actions within the lead case known as In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, 12-md-02311 (E.D. Mich.), which is currently before United States District Judge Marianne O. Battani.
You can make a claim for money benefits if you are an automobile dealership that indirectly purchased certain component parts and/or purchased new vehicles containing these parts ("Dealer") in the District of Columbia or one or more of the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
These Settlements may affect your rights. Read on for more information.
What Are The Lawsuits About?
The separate lawsuits claim that the Defendants in each lawsuit engaged in unlawful agreements that had the effect of impacting the price of certain vehicle component parts. The lawsuits claim that, as a result of the relevant Defendants' conduct, Dealers paid more than they should have for the parts at issue and paid more for the new vehicles in which those parts are contained. The lawsuits also allege that Dealers were unable to pass on all of these increased costs to their customers.
These cases are proceeding as class actions for monetary recovery for Dealers in the states listed in this Notice and the District of Columbia. The lawsuits also seek nationwide injunctive relief. Although the Settling Defendants have agreed to settle, the Settling Defendants and certain affiliates deny that they engaged in any wrongdoing or are liable and owe any money or benefits to Plaintiffs. The Court has not yet decided who is right. The Settling Defendants have settled to avoid the cost and risk of trials.
The Court has appointed the law firms of Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, Larson • King, LLP, and Barrett Law Group, P.A. as interim class counsel ("Class Counsel") in these lawsuits to represent your dealership and all other members of the Dealer class actions. Your dealership will not be charged directly by these lawyers, and any fees that they are paid will come from any settlements or recovery in these lawsuits. If your dealership wants to be represented by its own lawyer, it may hire one at its own expense.
Who's Included In The Settlements?
Your dealership is part of one or more of the Settlements if it is a Dealer and falls within the definition of one or more of the settlement classes ("Settlement Classes") approved by Judge Battani. The class definitions are set forth in the full-length Notice, which is available at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com. The term "Dealer" or "dealership" means an entity or person authorized to engage in the business of selling and / or leasing new vehicles at retail in the United States. A list of the parts included in these Settlements and their manufacturers can be found at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
Who Are The Settling Defendants?
The Settling Defendants involved in this Notice are: Aisan Industry Co., Ltd. Franklin Precision Industry, Inc., Aisan Corporation of America, Hyundam Industrial Co., Ltd. (collectively, "Aisan"); Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. and Aisin Automotive Casting, LLC (collectively, "Aisin Seiki"); Alps Electric Co., Ltd., Alps Electric (North America), Inc., and Alps Automotive Inc. (collectively, "Alps"); Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert Bosch LLC (collectively, "Bosch"); Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone APM Company (collectively, "Bridgestone"); Chiyoda Manufacturing Corporation and Chiyoda USA Corporation (collectively "Chiyoda"); Diamond Electric Mfg. Co., Ltd. and Diamond Electric Mfg. Corporation (collectively, "Diamond Electric"); Eberspächer Exhaust Technology GmbH & Co. KG and Eberspächer North America Inc. (collectively, "Eberspächer"); G.S. Electech, Inc., G.S. Wiring Systems, Inc., and G.S.W. Manufacturing, Inc. (collectively, "G.S. Electech"); Hitachi Metals, Ltd. and Hitachi Metals America, Ltd. (collectively, "Hitachi"); Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. ("HIAMS"); INOAC Corporation, INOAC Group North America, LLC, and INOAC USA Inc. (collectively, "INOAC"); JTEKT Corporation, JTEKT Automotive North America, Inc., and JTEKT North America Corp. (formerly d/b/a Koyo Corporation of U.S.A.) (collectively, "JTEKT"); Kiekert AG and Kiekert U.S.A., Inc. (collectively, "Kiekert") Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd., North American Lighting, Inc. (collectively, "Koito"); MITSUBA Corporation and American Mitsuba Corporation (collectively, "Mitsuba"); NGK Insulators, Ltd. and NGK Automotive Ceramics USA, Inc. (collectively, "NGK"); NTN Corporation and NTN USA Corporation (collectively, "NTN"); Nishikawa Rubber Company, Ltd. ("NRC"); Tokai Rika Co., Ltd. and TRAM, Inc. d/b/a Tokai Rika U.S.A. Inc. (collectively, "Tokai Rika"); Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc., Toyo Tire North America OE Sales LLC, and Toyo Automotive Parts (USA), Inc. (collectively, "Toyo"); Yamada Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Yamada North America, Inc. (collectively, "Yamada"); and Yamashita Rubber Co., Ltd. and YUSA Corporation (collectively, "Yamashita").
A list of the Defendants involved in this Notice, their affiliates, and the alleged co-conspirators for each case involving the parts described in the Settlement Class definitions and settlement agreements is available at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
What Do The Settlements Provide?
Dealers in the United States who indirectly purchased certain component parts and/or purchased new vehicles containing these component parts, listed in the Settlement Class definitions, in the states listed in this Notice or the District of Columbia may receive money benefits from the Settlements. Dealers in the United States who indirectly purchased certain component parts and/or purchased new vehicles containing these component parts, listed in the Settlement Class definitions, may receive other, non-monetary benefits from the Settlements as explained in further detail at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
The settlement funds (the "Settlement Funds") for Dealers in these Settlements total approximately $115 million. A table detailing the respective Settlements and the parts involved can be found in the full-length Notice, which is available at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com. The amount of money your dealership may receive, if any, will depend upon where the dealership purchased the affected vehicles or component parts, the type and quantity of vehicles and parts the dealership purchased in the states listed above and the District of Colombia, and the total number of claims made by eligible Dealers. Attorneys' fees and expenses and class representative awards will be requested and may be awarded by the Court.
Under all of the Settlements, the Settling Defendants will provide certain cooperation in the Dealers' continuing litigation against the Non-Settling Defendants. Some of the settlement agreements give the Settling Defendants the right to reduce the amount they are required to pay and/or to withdraw from their respective Settlements in the event that certain percentages of Settlement Class members elect to exclude themselves from the respective Settlement(s). The final judgments and/or settlement agreements with respect to certain of the Settling Defendants will provide for additional non-monetary relief in the form of an agreement not to engage in certain conduct with respect to the identified parts for a period of two years from the date of entry of the final judgment. These terms are all contained in the proposed final judgments and/or settlement agreements relating to these Settling Defendants, and may also be viewed at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
What Are My Rights And Options?
1. File a Proof of Claim to participate in the Settlements
If your dealership filed a valid Proof of Claim in either of the first two rounds of dealership settlements in this litigation, you may rely on that Proof of Claim and do nothing further to participate in the current settlements. If you choose this option, the information you provided in the prior Proof of Claim will be used to determine your dealership's share in the net proceeds of the current proposed Settlements.
To remain in the Settlement Classes, you do not need to take any further action at this time. However, to share in the Settlement Funds, and only if your dealership did not submit a Proof of Claim form in the prior dealership settlements in this litigation, your dealership must submit a Proof of Claim form that is available at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com. Proof of Claim forms must be filed on or before January 21, 2019 at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com or sent via USPS Mail, postmarked by January 21, 2019 to:
Auto Dealer Settlement Administrator
PO Box 8060
San Rafael, CA 94912-8060
If you choose the File a Proof of Claim option, your dealership will share in the net proceeds of the Settlement Funds if: (1) your dealership's Proof of Claim is timely and valid; (2) your dealership is entitled to a distribution under the Plans of Allocation that have been or will be approved by the Court; and (3) the proposed Settlements are finally approved by the Court. Your dealership will be bound by the judgments and releases to be entered by the Court as described in the full-length Notice.
2. Opt your dealership out of the Settlements
If your dealership does not want to be included in one or more of the following settlements: Aisan Fuel Injection Systems Settlement Class; Aisin Seiki Valve Timing Control Devices Settlement Class; the Alps Heater Control Panels Settlement Class; the Bosch Settlement Classes (i.e., the Windshield Wipers System Settlement Class; the Starters Settlement Class; the Fuel Injection Systems Settlement Class; or the Spark Plugs Settlement Class); the Bridgestone Anti-Vibration Rubber Parts Settlement Class; the Chiyoda Wire Harness Systems Settlement Class; the Diamond Electric of Ignition Coils Settlement Class; the Eberspächer Exhaust Systems Settlement Class; the G.S. Electech Automotive Wire Harness Systems Settlement Class; the Hitachi Automotive Brake Hoses Settlement Class; the HIAMS Shock Absorbers Settlement Class; the INOAC Interior Trim Settlement Class; the JTEKT Settlement Classes (i.e., the Automotive Bearings Settlement Class or the Electronic Powered Steering Assemblies Settlement Class); the Kiekert Side Door Latches and Latch Minimodules Settlement Class; the Koito Settlement Classes (i.e., the Automotive Lamps Settlement Class or the HID Ballasts Settlement Class); the Mitsuba Settlement Classes (i.e., the Windshield Wiper Systems Settlement Class; the Radiators Settlement Class; the Starters Settlement Class; the Automotive Lamps Settlement Class; the Electronic Powered Steering Assembly Settlement Class; the Fan Motors Settlement Class; the Fuel Injection Systems Settlement Class; the Power Window Motors Settlement Class; or the Windshield Washer Systems Settlement Class); the NGK Ceramic Substrates Settlement Class; the NRC Body Sealings Settlement Class; the NTN Bearings Settlement Class; the Tokai Rika Wire Harness Systems Settlement Class; the Toyo Settlement Classes (i.e., the Anti-Vibration Rubber Parts Settlement Class or the Automotive Constant-Velocity Joint Boot Products Settlement Class); the Yamada Electronic Powered Steering Assemblies Settlement Class; and / or the Yamashita Anti-Vibration Rubber Parts Settlement Class (as defined in the full-length Notice), it may request to be excluded. If your dealership timely submits a valid request for exclusion, it will not share in the Settlement Funds from the corresponding Settlement, and it will not be bound by the corresponding Judgment(s). It will then be your dealership's responsibility to pursue any of the claims that it preserves by opting out of one or more of the Settlement Classes. To be valid, the request for exclusion / opt out must follow the instructions set forth in the full-length Notice and be postmarked by August 15, 2018. The full instructions and requirements for opting out may be viewed at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
3. Object to the Settlements
If your dealership wishes to object to one or more of the Settlements or the request for attorney's fees, expenses, and service awards, it may (as discussed below) write to the Court and counsel about why it objects. It is possible that the Settlements and request for fees, expenses, and service awards will be approved despite your objection. To be considered, your dealership's objection must be filed according to the procedures set forth in the full-length Notice and postmarked no later than August 15, 2019. The full instructions and requirements for objecting to one or more of the Settlements may be viewed at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
4. Attend the Final Approval Hearing
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on September 26, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Courtroom 272, Detroit, MI 48226 to decide whether to approve the Settlements and the request for attorney's fees, expenses, and service awards. You may attend and ask the Court's permission to speak, but you don't have to participate in the hearing in order to attend. To request to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you must follow the procedures set forth in the full-length Notice no later than August 20, 2018.
This notice is a summary only. The complete terms, including the definitions of what parties and claims are being released are set forth in the full-length Notice, settlement agreements, and the Court filings which may be obtained at www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
For More Information, Contact the Settlement Administrator Toll Free at (888) 565-3171 or Visit www.AutoDealerSettlement.com.
SOURCE Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, Larson • King, LLP, and Barrett Law Group, P.A.