The case of the incomplete Esseesse kits has been solved by the Italian Carabinieri. The investigation, which lasted eight months, resulted to the arrest of two Abarth employees. Nearly one year ago, one Abarth dealer complained about an Esseesse kit that has some missing components but it was thought to be an isolated case of negligence.
The wooden crate is supposed to have all the parts needed to modify an Abarth 500 to a more powerful and stiffer-riding Abarth 500 Esseesse. Shortly after, more dealers filed complaints of getting incomplete kits.
The Italian tuner called in the Italian Carabinieri to investigate upon learning that a dealer didn’t receive one whole kit. The Carabinieri traced the missing parts to two Abarth employees who stole the parts from the kits and sold them online for lower than the actual price. Abarth sells an Esseesse ECU for $2,000 but it was sold at only $400 online.
It was discovered that more than a million euros worth of parts were stolen, amounting to 1.36 million dollars. These workers sold almost all types of Abarth parts, including: bucket seats, turbochargers, brake components, and some clothing.
As part of the investigation, 23 people working either for Abarth or the Italian postal service were taken in for questioning. BMW actually experienced a similar issue nearly a year ago with some of their assembly plants. The parts stolen from BMW amounted to almost four million dollars. [source: LeftLaneNews]