FCA would reportedly call dealers and inform them the fictitious “unnatural acts department” was “open for business.” The phrase was used over the course of several years, WSJ reports, and was used in conference calls and in one-on-one conversations.
Authorities are now trying to figure out of the term was used simply as a motivational tool to help drive sales and meet monthly goals, or if it’s evidence of further deception. WSJ sources say the term was a signal for dealers to go above and beyond to close on sales, but it didn’t have a concrete definition.
The FBI launched an investigation into FCA after two lawsuits were filed by dealers in New York and Chicago accusing the automaker of offering bribes in exchange for falsifying sales figures. The Chicago dealer accused FCA of offering $20,000 for it to falsely reporting the sales of 40 vehicles and then reversing the sale before the warranties could be activated.
A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman declined to comment on the “unnatural acts department,” WSJ says. The company has denied the allegations in the lawsuits filed by the dealerships, but is co-operating with the FBI investigation. It released a statement earlier this year explaining how it s sales reporting tactics were accidentally misleading and outlined and introduced a new system.