Automotive News says that field staff for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were visited on July 11 by investigators from the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of a probe into the company’s U.S. sales reporting practices.
Sources familiar with the situation indicated that federal staff attorneys visited the FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan on the same day. Current and past FCA employees were also said to have been interviewed in locations in Orlando, Dallas and California.
Bloomberg is separately reporting that the U.S. Justice Department is probing FCA for fraud and determining whether the automaker has contravened any U.S. securities laws. According to two sources cited by the news outlet, the probe is in an early stage. The SEC and FBI have both declined to comment.
Earlier this year, a group of dealers in Illinois filed a federal civil lawsuit against FCA US, accusing the company of issuing payments in exchange for manipulating sales figures. FCA responded to the accusations, calling them “baseless” and seeking dismissal to the suit.
FCA officials have issued a statement concerning the probe, indicating that they will “cooperate fully” with the SEC.