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This action is one of approximately 40 class actions that have been commenced regarding alleged price-fixing of automobile parts. The unlawful conspiracies relate to the prices of parts installed by automakers in new vehicles. The class actions affect any person in Canada who purchased or leased a new vehicle containing the relevant parts or who purchased the relevant parts for installation in a new vehicle (ie. automakers).

The alternators class action alleges that the Defendants unlawfully conspired to fix, increase, and/or maintain the price of alternators sold in North America and elsewhere.

Alternators charge a vehicle’s battery and power the electrical system of a vehicle when the engine is running.

Developments

Settlements

Settlements have been reached with the following defendants:

  • Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. and Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. (“Hitachi”), in the amount of $950,000; and
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. and Mitsubishi Sales Canada, Inc. (“MELCO”), in the amount of $2,200,000.

The Hitachi and MELCO settlements have been approved by the Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec Courts.

The settlement funds (plus interest, less court-approved fees and expenses) are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members. At a later date, the Courts will be asked to approve a method of distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members.

Contested Litigation

Litigation is continuing against the remaining defendants and is being case managed together with the other auto parts class actions by Justice Belobaba in Toronto. The class actions are in the early stages.

By Orders dated February 3, 2014, June 4, 2016 and September 21, 2018, the action was discontinued on a without costs and without prejudice basis as against the following Defendants:

  • Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.;
  • Bosch Electrical Drives Co., Ltd.; and
  • Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert Bosch LLC and Robert Bosch Inc.

FAQs

What is a Class Action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the alternators class action?

The action was certified for settlement purposes as against the Hitachi and MELCO defendants on behalf of persons in Canada who between January 1, 2000 and March 20, 2017:

  • purchased or leased a new or used Automotive Vehicle in Canada;
  • purchased a new or used Automotive Vehicle for import into Canada; or
  • purchased an alternator in Canada.

At a later date, the courts will be asked to approve a protocol for the distribution of the settlement funds. At that stage, the courts will be asked to determine which settlement class members are entitled to share in the distribution.

Further, if the case proceeds to a contested certification motion, it is possible that the courts will certify a class that is narrower than what was certified for purposes of settlement.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action). The deadline for opting-out has passed.

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

The time to opt out of the action has passed.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  1. Keep records of any purchases or leases of new vehicles from 1995 onwards. This period covers the entire duration of all auto parts price-fixing cases. You might be affected by multiple auto parts price-fixing cases;
  2. Keep records of any purchases of alternators for installation in new vehicles from January 1, 2000 to March 20, 2017; and
  3. Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the contact form below.

Settlements

Settlements have been reached with the following defendants:

  • Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. and Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. (“Hitachi”), in the amount of $950,000; and
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. and Mitsubishi Sales Canada, Inc. (“MELCO”), in the amount of $2,200,000.

The Hitachi and MELCO settlements have been approved by the Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec Courts.

The settlement funds (plus interest, less court-approved fees and expenses) are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members. At a later date, the Courts will be asked to approve a method of distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members.

Contested Litigation

Litigation is continuing against the remaining defendants and is being case managed together with the other auto parts class actions by Justice Belobaba in Toronto. The class actions are in the early stages.

By Orders dated February 3, 2014, June 4, 2016 and September 21, 2018, the action was discontinued on a without costs and without prejudice basis as against the following Defendants:

  • Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.;
  • Bosch Electrical Drives Co., Ltd.; and
  • Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert Bosch LLC and Robert Bosch Inc.

What is a Class Action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the alternators class action?

The action was certified for settlement purposes as against the Hitachi and MELCO defendants on behalf of persons in Canada who between January 1, 2000 and March 20, 2017:

  • purchased or leased a new or used Automotive Vehicle in Canada;
  • purchased a new or used Automotive Vehicle for import into Canada; or
  • purchased an alternator in Canada.

At a later date, the courts will be asked to approve a protocol for the distribution of the settlement funds. At that stage, the courts will be asked to determine which settlement class members are entitled to share in the distribution.

Further, if the case proceeds to a contested certification motion, it is possible that the courts will certify a class that is narrower than what was certified for purposes of settlement.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action). The deadline for opting-out has passed.

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

The time to opt out of the action has passed.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  1. Keep records of any purchases or leases of new vehicles from 1995 onwards. This period covers the entire duration of all auto parts price-fixing cases. You might be affected by multiple auto parts price-fixing cases;
  2. Keep records of any purchases of alternators for installation in new vehicles from January 1, 2000 to March 20, 2017; and
  3. Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the contact form below.

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