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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).

This action pertains to various automotive switches, including Steering Wheel Switches, Turn Switches, Wiper Switches, Combination Switches, Door Courtesy Switches and Power Window Switches (collectively referred to as “Switches”).

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

Developments

Settlements

A settlement has been reached with the defendants, Omron Corporation, Omron Electronics Co., Ltd., Omron Automotive Electronics, Inc., and Omron Automotive Technologies Inc. (“Omron”), in the amount of USD$390,000.

The Omron settlement has been approved by the Ontario and British Columbia 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

The auto parts class actions (including the Switches class action) are being case managed together by Justice Belobaba in Toronto. The class actions are in the early stages.

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 Switches class action?

The action was certified for settlement purposes as against the Omron defendants on behalf of persons in Canada who between January 1, 2003 and August 13, 2018:

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

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 Switches for installation in new vehicles from January 1, 2003 to August 13, 2018; 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

A settlement has been reached with the defendants, Omron Corporation, Omron Electronics Co., Ltd., Omron Automotive Electronics, Inc., and Omron Automotive Technologies Inc. (“Omron”), in the amount of USD$390,000.

The Omron settlement has been approved by the Ontario and British Columbia 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

The auto parts class actions (including the Switches class action) are being case managed together by Justice Belobaba in Toronto. The class actions are in the early stages.

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 Switches class action?

The action was certified for settlement purposes as against the Omron defendants on behalf of persons in Canada who between January 1, 2003 and August 13, 2018:

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

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 Switches for installation in new vehicles from January 1, 2003 to August 13, 2018; 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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