The story began when one Chrysler dealer, Napleton Automotive Group, sued Chrysler for “strong-arming” dealers into reporting higher sales volumes. The suit alleged that those dealers were rewarded. The strategies were creative. Some dealers would record cars as sold, but all they did was move them to the “used” category. Other dealers would include sales that were later reversed.
The SEC began investigating the sales issue in 2016, and Fiat-Chrysler just paid a $40-million fine for fake sales numbers that were later “unwound or reversed.” Fiat-Chrysler said that the fine will not result in a material effect on its overall financials. Well, we can all breathe a sigh of relief on that. Immaterial fraud fines are a different beast all together.