Ed Napleton Automotive Group to pay $10 million to settle fraud, discrimination claims [The News-Gazette, Champaign-Urbana, Ill.]
Apr. 6—OAKBROOK TERRACE —
The action was filed by the
The complaint also alleged Black borrowers, on average, were charged about
"Disparities in charges between Black consumers and non-Latino White consumers are statistically significant and cannot be explained by factors related to underwriting risk or credit characteristics of the applicants," the lawsuit states.
In addition to
"Working closely with the
A survey cited in the complaint found 83 percent of buyers from the dealerships were charged junk fees for add-ons "without authorization or as a result of deception," the agency said.
According to the complaint, the defendants "frequently lure consumers into their dealerships with low-advertised prices" and customers calling to confirm prices are told there won't be any fees beyond routine taxes and fees.
"After an often hours-long process, defendants present consumers with a stack of complex, highly technical documents," the lawsuit goes on to state. "Defendants then rush consumers through the closing process, which typically requires paperwork that is more than 60 pages deep and over a dozen signatures, simply indicating where to sign."
It also states that in numerous instances, the dealerships have inserted charges for add-on products without the consumers' informed consent, and extras are typically added to the amount financed and spread out over monthly payments, "making the added charges more difficult to detect."
The dealerships "have charged thousands of consumers hundreds to thousands of dollars each for such unauthorized, unwanted add-ons," the lawsuit states. "In the aggregate, defendants have charged over
In one case in
In some cases, the complaint states, consumers were charged for add-ons they were told were free or had specifically declined.
"In numerous instances, defendants tell consumers that the purchase of add-on products is required to purchase or finance a vehicle, purportedly due to dealership or finance company policy," the lawsuit states. "In actuality add-on products are not required by the defendants' dealerships or financing companies."
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