Fiat Chrysler's Bigland Withdraws Lawsuit, but Only Temporarily

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Fiat Chrysler and chief of the mighty Ram brand, has withdrawn a lawsuit against his employer in the hopes of gaining whistleblower protection.

The top FCA executive filed the suit in June after the automaker allegedly made him take the financial fall for dodgy sales practices that preceded his tenure. Bigland, who was on the short list of possible successors for late CEO Sergio Marchionne, claimed FCA withheld bonuses and severely cut his pay — payback for a federal probe that forced the company to revise its sales history.

The lawsuit will be back on come December.

According to Automotive News, Bigland had the judge dismiss his suit in order to give a complaint to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration time to expire. Once it does, Bigland plans to seek whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He’ll also re-file his lawsuit in Michigan’s Oakland County Circuit Court.

In September, FCA reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to pay $40 million in penalties for deceptive sales reporting practices going back years. Bigland claims that, in March, the automaker cut his pay by 90 percent as a result of the probe. Withheld compensation would go towards paying penalties arising from the federal investigation, he was apparently told.

Clearly, neither Bigland nor FCA has had a change of heart on the issue. In an unusual move, Bigland remains employed by FCA, handling some of the company’s most sensitive files while the legal drama unfolds in the background. High-level meetings must be chilly.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 05, 2019

    Yeah its his fault because your company perpetuated its "cookie jar" reporting from 1989 onward. While we're at it, lets blame him for the Daimler merger, the cloud car issues, the Cerberus buyout, the 2.7 V6 sludge issue, the tranny issues in the 9spd Cherokee, the Dart, anything else? Could we pin the Kennedy assassination on him too?

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 06, 2019

      @Lou_BC My thought on your elections was although clearly members of his own party did not endorse him enough did for him to squeak by. They are not allowed to do so according to their own liberal principles because Trudeau as a teacher is caught in print exhibiting racism which is a holy tenet to them, I mean there are some extremests like Antifa types who want to hang "racists". Therefore any liberal who did vote Trudeau is automatically and forever a racist and anything else is just a hypocritical rationalization, you either believe your own views or you don't. They cannot ever again call anyone a bigot for any reason because they themselves are absolute bigots for supporting one. Not that I am up on your politics but I know there are other leftist parties to choose from which may represent their views but they still chose Trudeau. There is no excuse.