Fiat Chrysler Pleads Guilty in Federal Corruption Probe
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is forking over $30 million and pleading guilty to a single federal conspiracy charge to resolve a long-running corruption investigation.
Prosecutors said FCA officials conspired to make illegal payments to labor union officers at United Auto Workers equivalent to $3.5 million in the form of golf, meals, parties and other favors, The Detroit Free Press reports. According to prosecutors, those payoffs undermined the collective bargaining process between the company and the union representing workers.
The deal comes after several individual union officials, including former UAW presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, have faced criminal charges related to the payoffs. UAW officer Nick Robinson was sentenced to one year in prison for allegedly helping to funnel $1 million out of the labor union.
FCA recently became known as Stellantis after the company’s merger with Peugeot. The new company’s CEO recently signaled that he plans to try to revive the Chrysler brand as part of the path forward.
Legal Rights and Options for California Car Owners
If a car manufacturer is willing to break federal law to undermine its own employees, it is safe to say the company may also not have its customers' best interests in mind. That includes making sure that their vehicles are actually safe to drive.
FCA and other major automakers recall millions of cars each year because of serious defects that put everyone on the road at risk. Last year, for example, FCA recalled some 160,000 Dodge Rams over an accelerator defect that the company said increased the risk of a crash.
Fortunately, car owners and lessors in California have some valuable rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the company to buy back vehicles that it cannot or refuses to fix, compensating the owner for the purchase price, financing costs and related expenses. The law allows the manufacturer to offer instead to replace the car, but it is up to the owner to accept or reject that offer.
There is no set number of repair requests or attempts that must be made before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. That is one of several reasons why it is important to consult an experienced California lemon law lawyer.
How a California Lemon Law Lawyer Can Help
If you have been stuck with a defective vehicle in the Golden State, a California lemon law lawyer can help you understand your rights and weigh your options.
At the Bickel Law Firm, California lemon law lawyer Brian Bickel and his team have successfully represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. We help the people we represent get the compensation they deserve.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law lawyer today.