Fiat Chrysler has rejected General Motors’ accusations that it paid UAW officials to spy on it, likening the claims to a plot in a “third rate spy movie.”
GM levied new accusations against FCA in an amended complaint that it filed with the U.S. District Court in Detroit last week. The automaker accused several UAW officials of receiving payment from FCA through various offshore accounts in exchange for conducting corporate espionage on GM. Among those named in the amended complaint were former UAW vice president Joe Ashton, who GM said was a “paid mole” on its board that was secretly working for FCA, and former GM labor relations boss Alphons Iacobelli.
FCA responded to GM’s attempt to revive the case this week, Automotive News reports, calling the claims of corporate espionage “meritless” and saying that the amended complaint should be thrown out as well. The automaker also said GM’s legal team likely knows the chances of the case being reinstated are slim and only filed the amended complaint to damage the reputation of FCA and the individuals named within the filing.
“This motion is apparently a vehicle for GM to make more defamatory and baseless accusations about a competitor,” FCA said in a statement.
Additionally, FCA believes the timing of GM’s complaints could be related to FCA’s impending merger with French automotive giant Groupe PSA.
“GM’s attempts to tarnish FCA’s reputation and that of individual FCA officers and employees will not distract us from our mission of providing customers with outstanding and exciting cars, trucks and SUVs or from completing our landmark combination with Groupe PSA,” the company also said.
GM initially filed the racketeering suit against Fiat Chrysler last year after the FBI began its wide-reaching corruption investigation into the labor union. A number of UAW officials have already been charged as part of the investigation, including Ashton, who is alleged to have demanded kickbacks in exchange for awarding a wristwatch vendor with a UAW contract.
The U.S. District Court in Detroit has not yet responded to GM’s amended complaint.