It's the largest anti-trust investigation in Federal Government history and it could have cost you money.
The Justice Department Thursday announced that its filing charged against several companies and individuals, accused of conspiring to fix the prices of certain auto parts.
Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are some of the companies allegedly victimized.
The Justice Department says conspirators targeted more than 30 different products from windshield wipers, to bearings, compressors, and alternators.
Attorney General Eric Holder says the scheme lasted several years and impacted more than 5 billion dollars in auto parts sold in the u-s as well as more than 25 million cars.
"As a result of these conspiracies Americans paid more for their car," said Holder.
The Justice Department says nine Japanese based companies and two individuals have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges and pay more than 740 million dollars in fines.
One of the 11 complaints filed Thursday accused a former executive of rigging bids, quote "...to fix, stabilize and maintain the prices of seat-belts"
"We will continue to check under every hood and kick every tire to make sure we put an end to this illegal conduct," Holder said.
How much these schemes impact individual vehicle prices is hard to determine.
"It does cut down on competition it does ultimately hurt the bottom line," said Phil LeBeau who covers the automotive industry for CNBC.
To date, 20 companies and 21 executives have been charged in this on-going conspiracy investigation.
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