Fiat Chrysler accused of inflating US sales image

Two US FCA dealers have filled a lawsuit against the automaker, accusing it of faking sales reports, according to Automotive News. The company allegedly offered money for inflated monthly volume.

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by two Fiat Chrysler dealerships in the Chicago-area alleges that Fiat Chrysler has offered some substantial amount of money to dealers to report unsold vehicles as sold, thus inflating the automaker’s monthly US sales reports. FCA said in a statement the accusation “is without merit and was filed by internal counsel to the dealer group as FCA US has concurrently been discussing with the dealer group the need to meet its obligations under some of its dealer agreements.” After the news hit the media, shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fell by more than 10 percent in Milan on Thursday.

The federal complaint alleges that FCA officials had knowledge of such fake reports and even rewarded the managers for achieving the sales targets. This suit follows the annual sales report of FCA, in which the Group said it extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 69 consecutive months.

The suit assumes that one of the automaker’s business center managers at one point offered 20,000 dollars to a dealer “to falsely report the sales of 40 new vehicles” at the end of an unspecified month. The suit further claims that another dealership conspired with FCA and reported 85 false new vehicle deliveries, receiving “tens of thousands of dollars as an illicit reward for their complicity in the scheme.”

Via Automotive News