updated 4/1/2005 8:10:03 AM ET 2005-04-01T13:10:03

The FBI has begun investigating accounting errors at Delphi Corp., the world's largest auto supplier.

Delphi has said that it improperly accounted for $237 million in cash payments for warranty claims to its former parent, General Motors Corp., in 2000. The accounting errors led to the resignations of Delphi's chief financial officer and controller.

The investigation is in the early stages and was begun after the SEC made a criminal referral to the fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Dawn Clenney, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Detroit office told The Detroit News for a story in Friday's editions.

Troy-based Delphi said last week it had improperly accounted for $237 million in cash payments made to GM. Delphi said the accounting errors caused it to overstate pretax income by about $61 million in 2001.

The company has been investigating improper accounting transactions dating back to 1999.

Alan Dawes, Delphi's vice chairman and chief financial officer, resigned in March. Chief accountant and controller Paul Free also left the company, and John Blahnik, vice president of treasury, mergers and acquisitions, was demoted.

Company spokeswoman Claudia Baucus confirmed Thursday the latest investigation stemmed from the SEC probe, which began in August.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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