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US: Hyundai, Kia sue four biggest railroads

 |  October 2, 2019

Hyundai Motor and its Kia affiliate have sued the four largest US railroads, accusing them of violating US antitrust law by conspiring to drive up shipping costs though coordinated fuel surcharges, reported Reuters.

The South Korean automakers filed three lawsuits on Monday, September 30, accusing BNSF, CSX , Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific of imposing the surcharges between July 2003 and December 2008.

BNSF is a unit of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, but was a standalone company at the time of the alleged conspiracy.

The suits seek triple damages and were filed in the federal court in Santa Ana, California, near the automakers’ respective US headquarters.

Citing meetings, phone calls, and emails, Hyundai and Kia accused the railroads of conspiring to impose fuel surcharges, under the guise of a fuel cost recovery program, that ultimately generated billions of dollars in profit at customers’ expense.