A couple of automobile dealers have alleged that Fiat Chrysler has been falsifying sales data by bribing dealers to report unsold cars as sold.
This federal lawsuit has accused this automakers operations in North America of knowingly endorsing and encouraging the falsification of motor vehicle sales data with rewards for local managers including monthly and quarterly bonuses that are related directly to vehicle sales reports.
The suit says that the company has paid tens of thousands of dollars in bribes so dealers report false sales for every month. As per the suit, the sales were reported for a particular month and then backed out at the beginning of the next month before factory warranties were processed.
Fiat Chrysler has said that it was aware that the lawsuit had been filed but they hadn’t been served yet. They say that the claim has no merit and has been filed while the automaker has been talking with dealer groups about meeting their obligations under certain dealer agreements.
The company issued a statement in which it was said that they were confident that their business processes & dealer arrangements were upright and intended on defending the action.
The dealers who filed the suit were part of the Napleton Automotive Group based out of Illinois. One dealer is from a suburb in Chicago while the other is from West Palm Beach, Florida.
The dealers are trying to get a judgment against Fiat Chrysler and an unspecified amount in monetary damages including costs, attorney’s fees and other relief as deemed just and equitable by the court.
The suit has alleged specifically that Edward Napleton, the dealership principal had been asked to falsify the sale of forty vehicles for $ 20.000 which would be distributed to him as credit for cooperative advertising support. The suit also says that Napleton rejected this alleged proposal.
Fiat Chrysler has recorded YoY sales gains for 69 months in a row now which is the longest streak in history. The streak was called a resounding achievement of their plans just last week at the North American International Auto Show. Their shares were down 5% on the New York Stock Exchange at just $ 7.48.