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The Auto Parts actions are comprised of approximately forty-five (45) 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). In Ontario, the auto parts class actions are being case managed together by Justice Belobaba in Toronto. In Quebec, Applications for authorization to institute class actions have also been filed and are case managed by Justice Clément Samson, j.c.s.. The following is a list of the actions started to date in one or both jurisdictions:

Air Conditioning Systems, Air Flow Meters, Alternators, Anti-Vibration Rubber Parts, Autolights, Automatic Transmission Fluid Warmers and Oil Coolers, Automotive Brake Hoses, Automotive Exhaust Systems, Automotive Steel Tubes, Bearings, Braking Systems, Body Sealing Parts, Ceramic Substrates, Constant Velocity Joint Boot, Electric Powered Steering Assemblies, Electronic Control Units (ECU), Electronic Throttle Bodies, Fan Motors, Fuel Injection Systems, Fuel Senders, Heater Control Panels (HCP), High Intensity Discharge Ballasts (HID Ballasts), Hoses, Ignition Coils, Instrument Panel Clusters (IPC), Inverters, Manual Steering Columns, Motor Generators, Occupant Safety Systems (OSS), Oxygen Sensors, Plastic Interior Trim, Power Window Motors, Power Window Switches, Radiators, Shock Absorbers, Spark Plugs, Starters, Steering Angle Sensors, Switches, Windshield Washer Systems, Windshield Wiper Systems, Wire Harness Systems.

A description of each automotive part and the relevant class periods can be found here.

Many of the actions have been fully resolved.  See the Developments, Settlement page.

Developments

Settlements

To date, settlements have been entered into with 67 defendant groups, totalling approximately $180 million. Details of the settlements can be found here.

The Mitsubishi Heavy, SKF, Brose and Yamada settlements are subject to court approval in Ontario and/or Quebec, as applicable.  The Courts will decide whether to approve the settlements as fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the settlement class.

The Ontario Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve these settlements virtually on February 13, 2023 at 10:00 am. If you wish to attend, please contact our office at: [email protected].

The Quebec Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the SKF settlement virtually on March 8, 2023 at 9:00am. If you wish to attend, please contact our office at: [email protected].

A copy of the Notice of Hearing can be found here.

All other settlements were previously approved by the Ontario, British Columbia and/or Quebec Courts, as applicable.

See the “Distribution” section below for the status of the distribution of settlement funds.

Distribution

Approval of a proposed Distribution Protocol is pending in 4 actions (see heading “Pending Court Approval”). The claims process will be commencing in the coming months in 20 actions (see headings “Claims Administration Process Pending”).  Settlement funds have been distributed in eight actions (see headings “Claims Administration Process Concluded”).  In the remaining actions, the courts have not yet been asked to approve a protocol for the distribution of the settlement funds and the funds have been invested in an interest-bearing trust account for the benefit of settlement class members.

Pending Court Approval - Automotive Bearings, Electric Powered Steering (“EPS”) Assemblies, High Intensity Discharge (“HID”) Ballasts, and Manual Steering Columns.

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions. The proposed protocol for distributing the settlement funds is subject to Court approval in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

The motion to approve the proposed Distribution Protocol will be heard virtually in Ontario on February 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.  The motion to approve the proposed Distribution Protocol as it relates to the Automotive Bearings action will be heard virtually in Quebec on March 9, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.  Following the Ontario Court approving the distribution protocol, a motion will be brought before the British Columbia Court in writing to approve the distribution protocol as it relates to the Automotive Bearings action.

For more information about the proposed distribution, please review the Notice of Hearing here.

A copy of the proposed Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Pending – Alternators, Automatic Transmission Fluid Warmers and Oil Coolers, Automotive Brake Hoses, Automotive Hoses, Fuel Injection Systems, Heater Control Panels, Inverters, Motor Generators, Occupant Safety Systems, Oxygen Sensors, Radiators, Spark Plugs, Starters, Steering Angle Sensors, Switches, and Windshield Wiper Systems (the "Second Omnibus Distribution") 

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved by the Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec Courts.

A notice explaining how to apply to receive settlement benefits will be posted here when the administration begins.  A copy of the Amended Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Pending – Electronic Throttle Bodies

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted action. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved in the Ontario and Quebec Courts.

Claims will be submitted and processed in conjunction with the Second Omnibus Distribution.  There will be no separate claims process.

A copy of the Amended Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Pending – Body Sealing Parts, Ceramic Substrates, and Plastic Interior Trim

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved in the Ontario and British Columbia Courts.

Claims will be submitted and processed in conjunction with the Second Omnibus Distribution.  There will be no separate claims process.

A copy of the Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Concluded – Constant Velocity-Joint-Boot Products

Settlements have been reached with defendants in the above-noted action. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved by the Ontario Court.

The deadline to apply for compensation has passed and the Claims Administrator has distributed the settlement funds.

Claims Administration Process Concluded - Automotive Wire Harness Systems, Air Flow Meters, Electronic Control Units, Fan Motors, Fuel Senders, Power Window Motors, and Windshield Washer Systems

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions.

The deadline to apply for compensation has passed and the Claims Administrator has distributed the settlement funds.

Contested Litigation

None of the cases have been decided on their merits. However, several of the actions have proceeded to or are proceeding towards certification. 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).

Of the ongoing actions, in Quebec, the Bearings action was authorized (certified) on behalf of residents of Quebec. In Ontario, the Braking Systems action was certified on behalf of a national class.

Notice of Certification in the Braking Systems Action

By order dated July 19, 2022, the Braking Systems action was certified against the non-settled Defendants, Continental AG, Continental Automotive GmbH, Continental Automotive Systems, Inc., and Continental Tire Canada, Inc. (formerly known as Continental Automotive Canada, Inc.).

For further information, please review the Notice of Certification here (see Part M)

A copy of the certification order can be found here.

Notice of Discontinuance in the Bearings Class Action - Industrial Bearings

The Bearings Statement of Claim currently asserts claims on behalf of persons in Canada who purchased bearings and/or who purchased and/or leased products containing bearings (including automotive vehicles, light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, buses, commercial vehicles, industrial machinery, construction equipment, mining equipment and/or railway vehicles).

The Ontario Court approved amendments to the Bearings Statement of Claim to discontinue the industrial bearings portion of the class action.  As a result, the class action will only advance claims relating to bearings installed in new Automotive Vehicles. These claims are advanced on behalf of persons in Canada who purchased bearings for installation in new Automotive Vehicles and/or who purchased or leased new Automotive Vehicles.

If you purchased industrial bearings and/or purchased and/or leased industrial machinery containing bearings you may have the option of commencing your own action. The limitation period for bringing a claim, if there is any time left within it, recommenced on October 5, 2020, subject to any tolling of limitation periods as a result of COVID-19.  On the expiry of the limitation period, your right to sue may be extinguished. Limitation periods vary across Canada. As a result, you should seek legal advice from local counsel.

If you wish to pursue a court claim regarding industrial bearings or industrial machinery containing bearings, you should issue a Notice of Action or Statement of Claim (or equivalent document in your province), if you have not already done so, before the applicable limitation period expires. You may wish to consult your own lawyer about this.

Discontinuances

The Plaintiffs have discontinued, on a without costs and without prejudice basis, various actions against certain defendants. Details of the discontinuances can be found here.

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.

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 auto parts class actions?

You are affected by an auto parts class action if you are a person in Canada who, during the relevant class period:

  • 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 automotive part in Canada for installation in a new Automotive Vehicle.

A description of the automotive parts and the relevant class periods can be found here.

In nearly 30 cases, the courts have approved a protocol for the distribution of the settlement funds, including which settlement class members are/were entitled to share in the distribution (see Developments, Distribution).

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

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Unless you opt-out (exclude yourself) from the class action), assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action.

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

The period to opt-out of (exclude yourself from) the auto parts class actions has expired with two exceptions:

  1. There is a limited right to opt-out of the Door Latches action.  The opt-out deadline is March 14, 2023.  See the Notice of Hearing available here for more information.
  2. The opt-out has not yet run in the Power Window Switches action.

Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

If you exclude yourself or opt out:

  • you will not be eligible to participate in the ongoing class action, and
  • you will not receive any money from the class action, but
  • you will be able to start or continue your own case against the defendants regarding the claims at issue in the class action.

If you do nothing, and so do not exclude yourself or opt out:

  • you will be eligible to participate in the ongoing class action, and
  • you may receive money from the class action, but
  • you will not be able to start or continue your own case against the defendants regarding the claims at issue in the class action.

You will only be provided with a single opportunity to opt-out of the class actions.

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 an automotive part for installation in new vehicles during the class period. A description of the automotive parts and the relevant class periods can be found here;
  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.

Documents

DISTRIBUTION

Pending Court Approval

Automotive Bearings, Electric Powered Steering (“EPS”) Assemblies, High Intensity Discharge (“HID”) Ballasts, and Manual Steering Columns.

Claims Administration Process Pending

Alternators, Automatic Transmission Fluid Warmers and Oil Coolers, Automotive Brake Hoses, Automotive Hoses, Fuel Injection Systems, Heater Control Panels, Inverters, Motor Generators, Occupant Safety Systems, Oxygen Sensors, Radiators, Spark Plugs, Starters, Steering Angle Sensors, Switches, and Windshield Wiper Systems

Body Sealing Parts, Ceramic Substrates, and Plastic Interior Trim

Electronic Throttle Bodies

Claims Administration Process Concluded

Automotive Wire Harness Systems

Air Flow Meters, Electronic Control Units, Fan Motors, Fuel Senders, Power Window Motors, and Windshield Washer Systems

Constant Velocity-Joint-Boot Products

SETTLEMENTS

For information regarding Automotive Access Mechanisms, Door Latches and Closure Systems, and Valve Timing Control Devices, please visit Class Counsel’s website at: https://www.sotosclassactions.com/auto-parts/.

Settlements

To date, settlements have been entered into with 67 defendant groups, totalling approximately $180 million. Details of the settlements can be found here.

The Mitsubishi Heavy, SKF, Brose and Yamada settlements are subject to court approval in Ontario and/or Quebec, as applicable.  The Courts will decide whether to approve the settlements as fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the settlement class.

The Ontario Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve these settlements virtually on February 13, 2023 at 10:00 am. If you wish to attend, please contact our office at: [email protected].

The Quebec Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the SKF settlement virtually on March 8, 2023 at 9:00am. If you wish to attend, please contact our office at: [email protected].

A copy of the Notice of Hearing can be found here.

All other settlements were previously approved by the Ontario, British Columbia and/or Quebec Courts, as applicable.

See the “Distribution” section below for the status of the distribution of settlement funds.

Distribution

Approval of a proposed Distribution Protocol is pending in 4 actions (see heading “Pending Court Approval”). The claims process will be commencing in the coming months in 20 actions (see headings “Claims Administration Process Pending”).  Settlement funds have been distributed in eight actions (see headings “Claims Administration Process Concluded”).  In the remaining actions, the courts have not yet been asked to approve a protocol for the distribution of the settlement funds and the funds have been invested in an interest-bearing trust account for the benefit of settlement class members.

Pending Court Approval - Automotive Bearings, Electric Powered Steering (“EPS”) Assemblies, High Intensity Discharge (“HID”) Ballasts, and Manual Steering Columns.

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions. The proposed protocol for distributing the settlement funds is subject to Court approval in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

The motion to approve the proposed Distribution Protocol will be heard virtually in Ontario on February 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.  The motion to approve the proposed Distribution Protocol as it relates to the Automotive Bearings action will be heard virtually in Quebec on March 9, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.  Following the Ontario Court approving the distribution protocol, a motion will be brought before the British Columbia Court in writing to approve the distribution protocol as it relates to the Automotive Bearings action.

For more information about the proposed distribution, please review the Notice of Hearing here.

A copy of the proposed Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Pending – Alternators, Automatic Transmission Fluid Warmers and Oil Coolers, Automotive Brake Hoses, Automotive Hoses, Fuel Injection Systems, Heater Control Panels, Inverters, Motor Generators, Occupant Safety Systems, Oxygen Sensors, Radiators, Spark Plugs, Starters, Steering Angle Sensors, Switches, and Windshield Wiper Systems (the "Second Omnibus Distribution") 

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved by the Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec Courts.

A notice explaining how to apply to receive settlement benefits will be posted here when the administration begins.  A copy of the Amended Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Pending – Electronic Throttle Bodies

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted action. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved in the Ontario and Quebec Courts.

Claims will be submitted and processed in conjunction with the Second Omnibus Distribution.  There will be no separate claims process.

A copy of the Amended Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Pending – Body Sealing Parts, Ceramic Substrates, and Plastic Interior Trim

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved in the Ontario and British Columbia Courts.

Claims will be submitted and processed in conjunction with the Second Omnibus Distribution.  There will be no separate claims process.

A copy of the Distribution Protocol can be found here.

Claims Administration Process Concluded – Constant Velocity-Joint-Boot Products

Settlements have been reached with defendants in the above-noted action. The protocol for distributing the settlement funds has been approved by the Ontario Court.

The deadline to apply for compensation has passed and the Claims Administrator has distributed the settlement funds.

Claims Administration Process Concluded - Automotive Wire Harness Systems, Air Flow Meters, Electronic Control Units, Fan Motors, Fuel Senders, Power Window Motors, and Windshield Washer Systems

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the above-noted actions.

The deadline to apply for compensation has passed and the Claims Administrator has distributed the settlement funds.

Contested Litigation

None of the cases have been decided on their merits. However, several of the actions have proceeded to or are proceeding towards certification. 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).

Of the ongoing actions, in Quebec, the Bearings action was authorized (certified) on behalf of residents of Quebec. In Ontario, the Braking Systems action was certified on behalf of a national class.

Notice of Certification in the Braking Systems Action

By order dated July 19, 2022, the Braking Systems action was certified against the non-settled Defendants, Continental AG, Continental Automotive GmbH, Continental Automotive Systems, Inc., and Continental Tire Canada, Inc. (formerly known as Continental Automotive Canada, Inc.).

For further information, please review the Notice of Certification here (see Part M)

A copy of the certification order can be found here.

Notice of Discontinuance in the Bearings Class Action - Industrial Bearings

The Bearings Statement of Claim currently asserts claims on behalf of persons in Canada who purchased bearings and/or who purchased and/or leased products containing bearings (including automotive vehicles, light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, buses, commercial vehicles, industrial machinery, construction equipment, mining equipment and/or railway vehicles).

The Ontario Court approved amendments to the Bearings Statement of Claim to discontinue the industrial bearings portion of the class action.  As a result, the class action will only advance claims relating to bearings installed in new Automotive Vehicles. These claims are advanced on behalf of persons in Canada who purchased bearings for installation in new Automotive Vehicles and/or who purchased or leased new Automotive Vehicles.

If you purchased industrial bearings and/or purchased and/or leased industrial machinery containing bearings you may have the option of commencing your own action. The limitation period for bringing a claim, if there is any time left within it, recommenced on October 5, 2020, subject to any tolling of limitation periods as a result of COVID-19.  On the expiry of the limitation period, your right to sue may be extinguished. Limitation periods vary across Canada. As a result, you should seek legal advice from local counsel.

If you wish to pursue a court claim regarding industrial bearings or industrial machinery containing bearings, you should issue a Notice of Action or Statement of Claim (or equivalent document in your province), if you have not already done so, before the applicable limitation period expires. You may wish to consult your own lawyer about this.

Discontinuances

The Plaintiffs have discontinued, on a without costs and without prejudice basis, various actions against certain defendants. Details of the discontinuances can be found here.

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.

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 auto parts class actions?

You are affected by an auto parts class action if you are a person in Canada who, during the relevant class period:

  • 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 automotive part in Canada for installation in a new Automotive Vehicle.

A description of the automotive parts and the relevant class periods can be found here.

In nearly 30 cases, the courts have approved a protocol for the distribution of the settlement funds, including which settlement class members are/were entitled to share in the distribution (see Developments, Distribution).

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

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Unless you opt-out (exclude yourself) from the class action), assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action.

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

The period to opt-out of (exclude yourself from) the auto parts class actions has expired with two exceptions:

  1. There is a limited right to opt-out of the Door Latches action.  The opt-out deadline is March 14, 2023.  See the Notice of Hearing available here for more information.
  2. The opt-out has not yet run in the Power Window Switches action.

Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

If you exclude yourself or opt out:

  • you will not be eligible to participate in the ongoing class action, and
  • you will not receive any money from the class action, but
  • you will be able to start or continue your own case against the defendants regarding the claims at issue in the class action.

If you do nothing, and so do not exclude yourself or opt out:

  • you will be eligible to participate in the ongoing class action, and
  • you may receive money from the class action, but
  • you will not be able to start or continue your own case against the defendants regarding the claims at issue in the class action.

You will only be provided with a single opportunity to opt-out of the class actions.

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 an automotive part for installation in new vehicles during the class period. A description of the automotive parts and the relevant class periods can be found here;
  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.

DISTRIBUTION

Pending Court Approval

Automotive Bearings, Electric Powered Steering (“EPS”) Assemblies, High Intensity Discharge (“HID”) Ballasts, and Manual Steering Columns.

Claims Administration Process Pending

Alternators, Automatic Transmission Fluid Warmers and Oil Coolers, Automotive Brake Hoses, Automotive Hoses, Fuel Injection Systems, Heater Control Panels, Inverters, Motor Generators, Occupant Safety Systems, Oxygen Sensors, Radiators, Spark Plugs, Starters, Steering Angle Sensors, Switches, and Windshield Wiper Systems

Body Sealing Parts, Ceramic Substrates, and Plastic Interior Trim

Electronic Throttle Bodies

Claims Administration Process Concluded

Automotive Wire Harness Systems

Air Flow Meters, Electronic Control Units, Fan Motors, Fuel Senders, Power Window Motors, and Windshield Washer Systems

Constant Velocity-Joint-Boot Products

SETTLEMENTS

For information regarding Automotive Access Mechanisms, Door Latches and Closure Systems, and Valve Timing Control Devices, please visit Class Counsel’s website at: https://www.sotosclassactions.com/auto-parts/.

Contact Us

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