Toyota, Honda, BMW Come Under Patent Investigation

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Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) and BMW are coming under investigation in the United States for potential patent law violations. Specifically, the investigation is looking into thermoplastic components within these autos that were sold in the United States.

According to a recent report from the U.S. International Trade Commission, 25 companies were named in the probe.

Patent holding firm, Intellectual Ventures II, initiated the complaint alleging that thermoplastic parts produced or used by these companies in motors, water pumps, electronic power steering units and other powertrain parts infringed on its patents.

Some of the big name cars that are being named in the complaint are the 2016 Toyota Camry, 2017 Honda Accord, and 2016 BMW 228i.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said that it would set a target date to complete its investigation within 45 days of starting this probe.

The thermoplastic products that are being addressed in this complaint, come in contact with high-temperature auto components. These parts are also more lightweight and durable compared with other materials used in vehicle powertrains, helping to improve efficiency and fuel economy.

Shares of Toyota were trading at $108.15 Monday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $114.61 and a 52-week trading range of $98.02 to $123.18.

Honda shares were last seen at $29.00. The stock has a 52-week range of $24.03 to $32.17 and a consensus price target of $32.83.