Tire maker Bridgestone has pleaded guilty in a price-fixing conspiracy and agreed to pay a $425 million criminal fine in a Justice Department investigation that has swept the automotive parts industry.

Price-fixing case

BridgestoneAccording to charges, Bridgestone participated in price fixing and bid rigging. The case involved anti-vibration rubber parts sold to car manufacturers.

In a statement, Bridgestone said its management “sincerely regrets the actions that resulted in this plea agreement and that they did not discover these activities at an earlier date.”

Certain antitrust violations had taken place as long ago as 2001, the company said.

Impact of settlement

Bridgestone’s plea is the latest settlement to come from the largest U.S. Justice Department price fixing investigation.

It is the 26th company to be caught in the DOJ probe: an investigation of the auto parts industry.

The Tokyo-based company said it would take disciplinary action against certain employees and that some executives would forego bonuses.

As a result of the settlement, Bridgestone expects to report a loss of 44.79 billion yen for the fiscal year.