US accuses ex-Japanese executive of price-fixing

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DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says a grand jury has indicted a former executive at a Japanese auto parts maker on accusations that he helped fix the prices of seatbelts sold to leading Japanese automakers.

The indictment says that ex-Tataka Corp. executive Gikou Nakajima conspired to rig bids on seatbelts in 2005-2009.

The government said Thursday that Tokyo-based company's scheme affected belts sold to Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.., Nissan Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru vehicles.

Takata Vice President Alby Berman in Auburn Hills, Michigan, says the company "regrets the indictment" and says it's supported the investigation from the beginning.

Takata pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy and was fined $71.3 million. Four Takata executives have pleaded guilty and received prison sentences.

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