crime

U.S. fines Bridgestone $28 million for rigging bids, bribery

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© 2011 AFP

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YES YES YES OH HAPPY DAY!!!!

I had BridgeStone tires on my first car here in Japan. They were brand new. 2 of them popped within 2 months. Took them back to complain but (I think it was YellowHat) gave me the Shoganai. Brand spankin new tires. I later went to Brdgestone personally. There's a plant in Yokohama not too far from Totsuka station. They also gave me the Shoganai. These guys are cheats. They should be hung out to dry.

Next Toyota.

Thank you AMERICA!!! Justice.

-4 ( +9 / -12 )

Bridgestone must be happy with strong yen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think they got off easy! $28 million isn't enough....... “The cartel affected prices for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of marine hose and related products sold worldwide,” It should have been at least $100 million.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@NetNinja

I don't see how that has anything to do with Bridgestones. They are a very good tire manufacturer, in which I've used religiously for several years.

In your case, it seems that the store you bought them from is the one to blame. Maybe they mounted them wrong, over inflated or under inflated them, or maybe there's something wrong with the alignment on your car. They're a huge host of reasons why your tires went bad, and the retailer should have handled it differently.

It goes back to the days when Ford blamed BS as the cause of their Ford Explorers flipping over at moderate speeds, when all along, Ford was the one to blame for not follow the manufacturer's suggested tire pressure.

So before rejoicing over the failure of a company because of your own isolated experience with them, maybe you want to consider that there maybe there were other factors involved.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

good news.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hatoyama and Mom are not going to be happy.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This is the company that had dealings with Charles Taylor in Liberia and it is bribing in South America. The tyre business sure is a hard one.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

but..but it is japanese bunka

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Japanese way of business, apparently isn't working that well international. Especially other country's are under financial pressure to sell there local products.

Wonder how it would turn out if you bring the "anti bribery/cartel crew " to japn to investigate the whole country for such. Thy probably would give up after a short while and become alcoholics as it is just too much going on here.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Oh no...that,s Hatoyama,s family business right?...maybe mummy will cut his allowance now...what a disaster

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And american companies arn't involved in price fixing, bid rigging and bribery?

Atleast bridgestone can pay the fine easily with their very high yen hahaha.

Seems the small fine in relation to the amount of business was worth it and was probably factored into the equation anyway by bridgestone.

GO JAPAN !

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sad thatathe story dopesn't mention what happens to the other firms involved:

"conspiring with other unnamed companies to fix prices"

And also what happened to the Latin American officials - they received the money, but can keep it? I realise that this isn't in US jurisdiction, but surely worth a mention?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bribes, corruption and under the table deals. Welcome to doing business the Japanese way. An excellent training ground for future Japanese law makers and bureaucrats.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

In order to do business in Latin America it seems whoever wanted the sale had to bribe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shut them down. Very, very grubby company that Bridgestone.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The authories investigated this because where there is smoke there is Tire !

5 ( +5 / -0 )

tokyokawasaki and net ninja, seems you think that corruption is a strictly Japanese way of doing business. clearly this is a very naive viewpoint with no base if you consider methods used by companies all over the world. its business, its cut-throat. stongest one survives. bridgestone btw, regardless of your grievances about its products or your pro american stances or a petty $28 million fine, remains the number 1 tire company in the world, followed by michelin. good year brings up the REAR in the third.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They terminated certain contracts and have to pay a wrist-slap of $28 M. My guess is they made FAR more than that in profit, and will simply turn the bid-rigging practice to other products and companies. This won't change a thing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Isn't bid rigging or dango an accepted practice here in Japan-I mean look at products such as alcohol which are basically the same price (eg beer) whatever brand we buy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I always thought Bridgestone was an American company... Anyways, I remember when Bridgestone purchased Firestone Tires in 1988. Then in 2000, Firestone tires had very high failure rates and if the tire blew out while driving, the car would flip over. After that, Bridgestone got rid of their Firestone brand tires and everything was forgotten and good again. Until now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It goes back to the days when Ford blamed BS as the cause of their Ford Explorers flipping over at moderate speeds, when all along, Ford was the one to blame for not follow the manufacturer's suggested tire pressure.

Both companies blamed each other, but I believe they were both at fault. The Explorers had a design fault in which it was prone to flip over if the tire failed. The tires that Firestone/Bridgestone manufactured were prone to tread separation. Explorers that used Goodyear tires with the same tire pressure specifications as the Bridestone/Explorers had no safety issues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I always thought Bridgestone tires were TOO EXPENSIVE and now we no why!! Stupid stupid Ishibashi, Japanese for?? Yes, BridgeStone!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

ROFL, this article is NOT even about Bridgestone Tires.

Bridgestone like many other major corps do cover a large variety of products. Mitsubishi also sells canned food and clothing overseas and I am sure most us here had some of those.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"I had BridgeStone tires on my first car here in Japan. They were brand new. 2 of them popped within 2 months. Took them back to complain but (I think it was YellowHat) gave me the Shoganai."

Clearly -- and I mean REALLY clearly -- your issue here is with the auto parts shop Yellow Hat, and not Bridgestone. Manufacturing plants are not normally in the habit of receiving, much less dealing with, consumer product complaints, i.e., some guy pulling up in a car, opening up his trunk and pointing out two blown tires, and saying, "Fix these."

I've had Bridgestones on my cars in the past, and they've never burst. I've had new tires that weren't manufactured by Bridgestone that happened to be defective, and I was able to take them back to the shop I purchased them from for a completely free exchange. Yes, here in Japan.

Hoping a company goes belly-up and calling everyone who works there crooks because you got a couple of bad tires in the past is silly, to say the least.

Meanwhile, since some here seem convinced that only a Japanese company would stoop to anything so insidious as price-fixing or bribery, the bribery and bid-rigging investigator managed to get convictions and admissions of guilt from at least three other companies while on the way to Bridgestone. They include, but aren't limited to, since the investigation is ongoing, the United Kingdom's Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd ($4.54 million fine), France's Trelleborg Industrie SAS ($11 million fine), and Parker ITR, an Italian subsidiary of Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp ($2.29 million fine).

Hold on a sec while we wait for the outpouring of rage in indignation that these non-Japanese companies paid far lower fines than Bridgestone for the same crimes, or better yet, broad sweeping generalizations about how the British, French, or Italians are all seedy, underhanded businessmen.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

@Mirai Hayashi

Sorry you don't like how customer opinion is formed. My problem with only the tip of the iceberg. I don't buy their tires anymore needless to say. They burned me.

Now they're getting burned. Sure, if they had some pride about their product and had repaired my tires or replaced them then of course, I'd be saying too bad right now. That's just how it works.

As the customer it's not my job to go on a wild goose chase trying to find someone to blame in the process. Instead, Bridgestone should have resolved the situation and THEY should be the ones going down to YellowHat to see if they screwed the mounting procedure up.

So yeah. Let me quote Usher: "You should let em burn"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Instead, Bridgestone should have resolved the situation and THEY should be the ones going down to YellowHat to see if they screwed the mounting procedure up."

Because that's what manufacturing plants are designed for. Right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ExportExpert Sep. 16, 2011 - 10:02AM JST And american companies arn't involved in price fixing, bid rigging and bribery?

Of course they are, but JT wouldn't have a reason to publish those news items in Japan. We're still waiting for some of the bank executives who caused a world-wide recession to be prosecuted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bridgestone is pleading guilty. They disobeyed American laws, blatantly, and are getting punished accordingly for improper business morals on corporate American soil. Japan would surely jump to do the same - in a heartbeat - were the situation reversed. So why are there gushy foreigners on this site taking sides with Bridgetsone and not seeing the issue in proper perspective? *Because their own Bridgestone tires* did OK??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@NetNinja No, they are not getting burned. Bridgestone is a multi billion dollar company, $28 million is something they can pay without reducing any other cost. They make a little more money than an average poster on JapanToday in case you didn't know.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Agreed with Mirai Hayai, his response is articulated way more clearly than same old blubbing from NetNinja.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hide Suzuki

@NetNinja No, they are not getting burned. Bridgestone is a multi billion dollar company, $28 million is something they can pay without reducing any other cost. They make a little more money than an average poster on JapanToday in case you didn't know.

YAWN~~Nice going insulting the fellow posters about their salaries.... why won't you get a grip, will ya?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

CHAMADE,

"So why are there gushy foreigners on this site taking sides with Bridgetsone and not seeing the issue in proper perspective? *Because their own Bridgestone tires* did OK?? "

One, no one's taking Bridgestone's side in the price fixing scandal. How could anyone? They admitted guilt, along with four other non-Japanese companies.

Two, the Bridgestone price fixing charges have nothing to do with their tires. Nothing at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@NetNinja

Sure, if they had some pride about their product and had repaired my tires or replaced them then of course, I'd be saying too bad right now. That's just how it works.

No, that's not how it works. It's not the job of the manufacturer to address every single customer's complaint, although I do believe that most Japanese companies do a very good job at listening to their customers and monitoring complaint trends. If your case, the distributor (Yellow Hat) should have addressed your problem. If you had receipts and warranties to prove that your tires were bought at a certain time and you hadn't rack up an extreme amount of mileage during that period time, or drove irregularly, then you have right to have your tires repaired or replaced. Did you even bother to read the warranty or keep the receipts?

It is distributor's responsibility to honor warranties and guarantee their installation. If the distributor sees a trend in the same tire model failing after a relatively short period of time from many customers, then they should take it up with the manufacturer at which point the manufacturer should rectify the problem, not when a random customer complains of blown tires.

At any rate, its really irrational to think that BS deserves ill luck just because you had bad luck with them. I guarantee that there are many people who are very satisfied with their products.

Explorers that used Goodyear tires with the same tire pressure specifications as the Bridestone/Explorers had no safety issues.

Apples and oranges! Goodyear and BS use vastly different tire compounds and tread patterns on their tires. What's good for one brand of tire may not apply to another. In BS's case, they clearly stated their recommended tire pressure and Ford chose not to follow that recommendation, so they were clearly at fault. BS just decided to share the responsibility so that they could retain their relationship with Ford.

If a car manufacturer told you not exceed 100kph in their cars, and you went 150kph and got into a serious accident, who's fault do you think it'd be? Let me give you a hint...not the car manufacturer's!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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