When does the “unnatural” cross into the illegal? That’s apparently something that federal prosecutors are looking into as they ramp up an investigation into potential sales fraud by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Both the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into the way FCA handled sales, probes that have already resulted in the trans-Atlantic automaker having to restate its numbers and admit its streak of month-after-month sales increases actually ended several years ago.
FCA is by no means the only automaker to have pushed the boundaries, according to industry insiders. But the feds want to know if it crossed the line into illegal actions. The probe has uncovered some of the steps FCA took to boost its sales. Among other things, if the numbers were falling short, corporate officials would tell regional managers and dealers that the “unnatural acts department” was open, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.