Lawsuits are fun as they bring forth documents that reveal the internal workings of a company. Case in point is a securities case against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Earlier this week, lawyers filed excerpts of an email from CEO Sergio Marchionne to Gualberto Ranieri, the company’s U.S. spokesman sent in 2015. According to Reuters, the email reprimanded Ranieri for making comments about how the company doesn't use defeat devices in their vehicles.
“Are you out of your goddam mind?” wrote Marchionne in the email.
Marchionne also wrote that Renieri's actions were “utterly stupid and unconscionable” and that he should be fired.
In a statement provided to Reuters, FCA said it was “understandable that our CEO would have a forceful response to any employee who would opine on such a significant and complex matter, without the matter having been fully reviewed through its appropriate channels.”
The statement goes onto say the Ranieri's comments come only a few days after it was revealed Volkswagen used defeat devices in their diesel vehicles “and before a comprehensive internal review and discussions with component suppliers was possible.”
The lawsuit against FCA was filled back in 2015 over allegations of defrauding investors by overstating its ability to comply with vehicle safety laws. The company downplayed various safety problems that helped inflate their stock price from October 2014 to October 2015. However, FCA would be fined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over lapses in various vehicle recalls.
An amended version of the lawsuit that claims the company did not fully comply with emission laws was filed last year.