Three provincial courts approved $ 25.6 million in settlement funds for drivers affected by alleged pricing in the automotive industry.
Courts in B.C., Ontario and Quebec gave the go-ahead to distribute payments to Canadians who bought cars that were involved in an investigation into harness systems, which distribute electricity around a vehicle.
"There have been extensive criminal investigations around the world," says a press release on behalf of the law firms Siskinds, Sotos and CFM.
"The auto parts cases are the largest antitrust investigation in history – in terms of the number of affected parts, involved parties and fines imposed."
The law firms behind the class action lawsuit said that consumers and companies that bought or rented new vehicles under the Honda / Acura, Nissan / Infiniti, Toyota / Lexus, Subaru and / or Pontiac Vibes brands, between January 1, 1999 and November 30, 2014 can apply for compensation.
The defendants in the case do not admit any irregularity or liability and the law firms emphasized that the car manufacturers were unaware of the alleged pricing.
"This plan represents an opportunity for consumers and businesses to recover overpayments on millions of vehicles sold in Canada," said Charles Wright, a partner at Siskinds in London, Ontario.
Settlement benefit claims can be filed online at autopartsettlement.ca on or before June 12, 2020.
Payments will be proportionate, based on the "value of your claim in relation to the value of all approved claims", according to the settlement location.
"All claims are expected to receive a minimum payment of $ 25," says the website.
The collective action of automotive wiring systems is one of more than 40 collective actions in progress in Canada, alleging the fixing of auto parts prices for installation in new vehicles.
"It is our hope that, through continued work with our colleagues in London, Vancouver and Quebec, we will place additional payments in Canadians' pockets in the coming years," said David Sterns, a partner at Sotos LLP, based in Toronto.