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GM Sues Rival Fiat Chrysler Over Bribery Accusations: A Timeline

General Motors 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Reveal
Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

General Motors Co.’s surprise lawsuit against crosstown rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is the latest chapter in a multi-year saga involving illicit payments made by former Fiat Chrysler executives to union leaders, allegedly to smooth passage of labor contracts.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, GM alleges that those bribes helped Fiat Chrysler win an advantageous labor deal and ultimately cost GM billions of dollars. The dispute between the two Detroit automakers grew out of a federal probe into corruption at the United Auto Workers, which has netted convictions of several officials and led its most recent president to step down late Wednesday. GM’s case -- which doesn’t target the UAW -- cites events dating back to 2009, when both it and Fiat Chrysler’s predecessor company, Chrysler LLC, were emerging from bankruptcy.