Volvo Car Corporation has sued a UK unit of Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) over its involvement in a car glass price fixing cartel that ended two years ago, with European Union fines totalling
€1.4 billion.

The car manufacturer is seeking ‘substantial’ damages from NSG’s Pilkington Group unit for charging excessively for windscreens and other car glass between 1998 and 2003, according to a statement from Volvo’s law firm, Hausfield & Co.

The statement said that the car glass cartel ‘caused substantial damage to Volvo and others in the struggling car industry’ and was fined at ‘record levels’ by the European Commission.

In November 2008, the Commission fined Pilkington, Asahi Glass Co, Saint-Gobain and Soliver for conspiring to fix prices and allocate markets. At the time, Volvo said in its statement, the companies controlled approximately 90% of the market for car glass used in the EU region for new cars and branded replacement glass for cars. Pilkington was fined €370 million for its role in the cartel.

EU law states that companies affected by a cartel have a right to sue for damages in their national courts and can cite the Commission’s decision
as evidence.