U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall has decided to uphold antitrust charges against the automaker in a civil lawsuit filed by Arlington Heights Motors of Chicago, Illinois, but has thrown out several other charges including fraud and racketeering claims.
The dealer group filed a lawsuit against FCA in January of this year accusing the automaker of offering money in exchange for falsely reporting vehicles as sold, which would in turn falsely inflate the automaker’s monthly sales figures. The lawsuit has sparked investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission into the way FCA reports sales.
According to The Detroit News, Kendall ruled the dealer group had “pled enough factual allegations” and “presented sufficient allegations” to make the antitrust allegations plausible. In an emailed statement, the automaker said it was “pleased” the majority of claims were thrown out and that it would “remain committed to continuing a vigorous defense,” against the antitrust claims.
The Justice Department and SEC investigations into FCA’s sales reporting practices are ongoing. FCA is cooperating with investigators during their probe.