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U.S. Honda executives investigatedFederal prosecutors in New...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

U.S. Honda executives investigated

Federal prosecutors in New Hampshire are preparing to charge more than a dozen current and former American Honda Motor Co. executives with accepting bribes from dealers in exchange for franchises and hot-selling Honda models from 1986 through 1991.

During the late 1980s, dealers were scrambling for popular Honda models, such as the Accord, which were in short supply because of voluntary import restraints adopted by Japanese automakers. As a result, investigators say, dealers were willing to bribe Honda executives with cash, gold watches, barbecue grills and hot tubs in exchange for Honda and Acura franchises or larger allocations of the desirable cars.

Honda itself is not now a subject of the investigation, prosecutors said.

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