SAO PAULO, July 7 (Reuters) - Brazil's antitrust watchdog has opened an investigation into a suspected cartel involving local units of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp and Swedish-American rival Autoliv Inc, citing potential price collusion in safety belts, airbags and steering wheels.
Cade, as the regulator is known, said late Monday that evidence has been found of anti-competitive practices between the companies, including sharing manufacturing and financial information in order to better divide the market.
A press representative for Takata Brasil SA said the company is taking all necessary measures in relation to the case and will cooperate fully with authorities. Press representatives at Autoliv's Brazilian unit could not be reached immediately.
The investigation is the latest in a series of problems for Takata, which is in the midst of a massive recall for potentially defective air bag inflators. Tens of million of cars with Takata-made parts have been recalled around the world by a range of automakers after some air bag inflators exploded with too much force, spraying shrapnel inside vehicles, regulators have found. (Reporting by Asher Levine and Luciana Bruno; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)