Black Consumers To Receive $10M In Settlement After Car Dealership Allegedly Charged Them More
The FTC statement noted that the dealership would often wait until the end of the hours-long negotiation process to sneak junk fees for add-on products and services into consumers’ purchase contracts.
“Working closely with the Illinois Attorney General, we are holding these dealerships accountable for discriminating against minority consumers and sneaking junk fees onto people’s bills,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said, according to the outlet. “Especially as families struggle with rising car prices, dealerships that cheat their customers can expect to hear from us.”
The final contracts given mostly to its Black customers would be up to 60 pages in length and included junk fees regardless of whether the customer declined add-ons or not.
Katz, the spokesperson for Napleton, stated that the settlement is the result of a three-year investigation against the car dealer.
As a result of the allegations and investigation, Napleton is a part of a record-setting automotive lending case. Affected consumers will find relief with $9.95 million of the $10 million directly distributed to them through the FTC. The remaining $50,000 will be paid to a special fund of the Illinois attorney general’s office for public education and law enforcement.
In addition to paying funds to the consumers, the settlement agreement will require the dealership to implement a fair lending program that alleviates interest hikes and bogus fees.
According to Katz, Napleton has already worked toward a solution that involves “additional safeguards to ensure full transparency to our customers.”