Is FCA Trying to Cheat One of Its Dealership or is the Dealership Trying to Cheat FCA?
A Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) dealer Adventure Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram Ohio has filed suit against FCA. The suit centers around $433,163 in sales incentive chargebacks. That figure is actually a reduced amount that FCA auditors arrived at after representatives of Adventure attended an audit appeals hearing at FCA’s US Headquarters in Detroit.
A “chargeback” is a demand for the return of money that was acquired fraudulently.
Adventure filed suit in December of 2017 in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas in Painesville, Ohio. Calling the FCA chargeback a “money grab” the dealer is asking the court to void the chargeback. Adventure is also asking for $866,326.00 in damages twice the amount in dispute.
In February of 2017 FCA conducted an audit of Adventure Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram’s sales incentive program. Conducting sales incentive audits of its dealers is standard practice at FCA. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ claims that Adventure failed to follow FCA’s policies, terms, conditions, and procedures governing the conduct of sales incentives.
In the filing, the dealership countered that claim by alleging that FCA had not acted in good faith. The manufacturer waited more than 12 months after Adventure applied for the incentive money to try to enforce the findings of the audit.
Adventure’s lawyer Christopher DeVito further argued that under a 30-day deadline set by the Ohio Dealer Act for requesting chargebacks FCA was too late in making a claim for at least $100,000.00 of the disputed amount. Fiat Chrysler insists that because Adventure’s claim was fraudulent the deadlines do not apply.