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Car and Driver: Fiat Chrysler Sales Reporting Said to Be Under Government Investigation

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-This past January, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) was enjoying its 69th month of year-over-year sales gains—although now there’s some doubt over this claim. A lawsuit filed that same month claims Fiat Chrysler was engaging in shady practices to inflate its sales, and now, it looks like there very well could be multiple U.S. government investigations related to the suit.The U.S. Justice Department is in the early stages of investigating FCA for fraud, according to two anonymous sources who spoke to Bloomberg. It’s believed that the investigation is related to the January lawsuit, in which two dealers alleged that FCA offered dealers money to falsely mark unsold cars as being sold. Automotive News also reports that the FBI and the SEC are investigating FCA over the lawsuit’s claims.

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The January lawsuit alleges that FCA paid dealers to report false sales on the last day of the month, and to “back out” of them the following day, according to an Automotive News report. At the time, FCA dismissed these claims as being “without merit,” although it has since added a lengthy disclaimer to its monthly sales report. The company has said the new disclaimer is unrelated to the lawsuit.
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The FBI and the SEC apparently conducted coordinated visits to FCA staffers’ offices and homes on July 11. In a statement, FCA confirmed that it is cooperating with the SEC and the Department of Justice, but made no mention of the FBI.

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This story originally appeared on Road & Track.

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