The FBI has begun investigating accounting errors at Delphi Corp., the world's largest auto supplier, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Delphi reportedly has said that it improperly accounted for $US237 million in cash payments for warranty claims to its former parent, General Motors Corp., in 2000, and the accounting errors led to the resignations of Delphi's chief financial officer and controller.

According to AP, Dawn Clenney, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Detroit office, told the Detroit News the investigation is in the early stages and was begun after the SEC made a criminal referral to the fraud section of the US Department of Justice.

The Associated Press noted that Troy, Michigan-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 pre-tax income by about $61 million in 2001.

The company has been investigating improper accounting transactions dating back to 1999, the report added.

AP said that Alan Dawes, Delphi's vice chairman and chief financial officer, resigned in March while 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 to the Associated Press on Thursday the latest investigation stemmed from the SEC probe, which began in August.