Fiat Chrysler officials have pleaded guilty for the company’s role in a corruption scandal.
The automaker says it did make more than $3 million in bribery payments to United Auto Workers union leaders.
The deal, reached in U.S. District Court, will require the company to pay a $30 million fine.
Paul Eisenstein is publisher of the automotive website TheDetroitBureau.com.
He says the financial penalty alone will not have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar automaker.
“It’s really a drop in the bucket – but nonetheless they’re going to be under court ordered monitoring. It does stain they’re reputation. So it’s more than just the fines – it’s everything else that goes with it.”
He says the punishment will send a message to the auto industry.
“There were too many people involved. There were too many bread crumbs leading investigators to the evidence that wound up resulting in one of the most embarrassing criminal cases that we have seen in the auto industry in decades.”
Eisenstein says the plea agreement will mean Fiat Chrysler, under its new identity as Stellantis, will be watched by a federal monitor for the next three years.
A final sentencing date has been set for June 21.