FTC Refunding Nearly $10M To Napleton Auto Customers Over Junk Fees And Discriminatory Practices


Over the next three months, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending 66,355 checks to car buyers affected by unlawful practices at Napleton Automotive Group dealers. On average, each affected party will get $147 back from a settlement that amounted to more than $9.8 million dollars. It’s just the latest crackdown on junk fees sold to buyers by dealers across the nation.

Despite the fact that this might sound like a big win for consumers, the initial complaint against Napleton Automotive Group alleged that it charged at least $70 million in illegal fees dating back to 2017. That’s more than $10 million every year in illegal fees alone. Now, after settling for $10 million in total, the dealer group is moving on as one of the top 15 dealership groups.

The FTC said that Napleton Automotive group engaged not only in the selling of junk fees that jacked up prices but was also guilty of engaging in discriminatory practices too. “According to the complaint, Black customers at the dealerships were charged approximately $190 more in interest and paid $99 more for similar add-ons than similarly situated non-Latino White customers.”

Read: FTC Might Be About To Force Dealers To Clean Up Shady Pricing Practices

For its part, the automotive group says that it’s innocent. When the story broke in April, it said that it “vehemently denied any wrongdoing” and that it “reluctantly determined” to settle the case “to avoid the disruption of an ongoing dispute with the government.” “Most of [the government’s] claims were based on interpretations of statistical data and there was no actual finding of intentional wrongdoing,” it said.

This is only the most recent example of the FTC going after similarly dubious fees. Autonews points out that Passport Automotive Group settled a similar case with the FTC for $3.4 million in October of this year. That same month it announced that it was taking public comments on junk fees and considering how it could crack down on them.

Recipients related to the Napleton settlement should cash checks within 90 days starting on November 14th. Those who have questions about their refund should call the refund administrator, Epiq, at 1-888-691-6050. Keep an eye out for potential scams though. The Commission made clear that it “never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.”

Image Napleton Automotive Group


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