Napleton, a multi-state auto dealership group, has settled a joint FTC and Illinois lawsuit alleging that it charged customers hidden fees for unwanted add-on products and discriminated against Black customers by charging them higher financing fees and interest rates than non-Latino White customers. Napleton will pay $10 million to settle.
The lawsuit says the defendants often snuck hundreds or thousands of dollars in illegal junk fees in a mountain of auto financing paperwork that they gave people to sign, often after long, grueling hours of negotiations. The charges — for products like extended warranties and service plans — typically were added to the amount financed and spread over monthly payments, so they were hard to spot. In other instances, the defendants falsely told people the add-ons were required to buy or finance the vehicle, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also says the corporate defendants charged Black customers about $99 more for add-ons and $190 more for financing than they charged similarly situated non-Latino White customers. The finance charges were added as mark ups to the interest rates offered by the lenders working with defendants, resulting in higher costs for customers.
The lawsuit names the Ed Napleton Automotive Group, eight of its dealerships, and the general manager of two Illinois dealerships. The settlement will return millions of dollars to injured customers.
Thinking about buying a car? It’s never a bad time for a reminder that you have rights. Before heading to a dealership, you also may want to look at an FTC staff report that highlights some of the challenges people face while buying and financing vehicles. And, if you believe a dealership charged hidden fees or discriminated against you, please tell us at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
I completely understand what these people went through. I have had a previous accounting with a dealership in Ashland, Ky.
Going back and figure again, and I may send in a complaint.
Here's a tip. Save your money and buy the car. Don't finance it.
How do you file for a relief?.
In reply to How do you file for a relief… by Rich V
FTC - please post how to file for relief for those who have been gouged by Napleton? where would we find such a post?
How does this affect the employees?
how does one submit a claim for damages in the Naptleton case?