In the United States, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group is now reported to be in the midst of a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) surrounding its sales reporting practices.
According to a report by Automotive News, FCA US, which controls brands Jeep, , Ram, and Chrysler, has responded in a statement, saying that it will fully cooperate with the authorities as they conduct their investigations into its "reporting of vehicle unit sales to end customers”.
In addition to this, the U.S Department of Justice has also launched an investigation concerning issues that do somewhat overlap those being carried out by the FBI and SEC, to which FCA has said it will also cooperate with “inquiries into similar issues”.
The probe involved FCA field staff being visited at their homes and their Michigan headquarters in Auburn Hills also being visited by investigators. Similar raids were reportedly carried out in other FCA offices in Orlando, Dallas and in California. Staff were instructed to not speak without counsel present.
At the moment, it is unclear what exactly about FCA that the FBI and SEC took particular interest in, and no information has come forward to conclusively finger any specific member at the management or documents that were flagged as suspicious.
However, some suggest it may have something to do with FCA’s latest sales report in which show a 6.5 percent growth in 2016 that follow 75 consecutive months (or for its 7th year) of growth – the longest winning streak of of any American automaker ever.
FCA clarified that its overall numbers did include retail and fleet sales along with vehicles delivered to members within the Group such as directors, retirees, and other valuable members of staff.