Chrysler Group and the California Department of Motor Vehicles are negotiating to settle the department's accusations that Chrysler has illegally operated a factory-owned store in downtown Los Angeles.
The DMV also accused Chrysler of making false statements to the department about ownership of the dealership, Motor Village LA. Chrysler is using the dealership to test new retail techniques and to increase exposure of its Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat vehicles in Los Angeles, where its market share is small.
A settlement could include compensatory damages. When the DMV filed the accusations Sept. 14 with the California Office of Administrative Hearings, it asked that Chrysler pay restitution to competing private Chrysler Group stores within 10 miles.
A DMV spokeswoman declined to comment on pending litigation. She said that if the two parties cannot agree on a settlement, a hearing will be set. Chrysler could face a fine, warning, probation or loss of its California license to sell vehicles.