According to his lawsuit, Reid Bigland, head of US sales for Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and chief of the Ram brand, says he has been cooperating with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into the company's sales reporting practices, including allegations it had wrongfully inflated numbers.
The executive has testified "at length" to the SEC about the FCA's sales reporting techniques, which have reportedly been in use for at least 30 years and were well known throughout the automaker.
After refusing to admit to any personal wrongdoing, Bigland sent a letter to the SEC detailing the company's methods.
In his deposition, Reid claims FCA was displeased with the letter and his earlier sale of FCA shares, and retaliated by holding back performance incentives, effectively slashing his pay by 90% and costing the executive an estimated US$1.8 million ($2.6 million).
Bigland's lawyer states the executive's unwillingness to be a "scapegoat for defendants' 30-year practice which predated him" led to the company's actions.
The executive believes this money will be used to help pay off any fines incurred by the firm.
This is not the first time FCA's sales reporting practices have been called into question. In 2016 a dealership group claimed in a lawsuit FCA had paid dealers to inflate sales figures.
Not long afterwards the company revised its sales numbers all the way back to 2011. While the recalculated figures showed the automaker actually sold more cars than initially reported, it also meant it could no longer boast of 75 months of consecutive sales growth.