FTC Fines Dealer Group $3 Million Over Fees, Discrimination

Image for article titled Dealer Group closes with FTC for $3.38 million over discrimination, counterfeit charges

picture: Passport Auto Group

A The Maryland-based retailer is paying the Federal Trade Commission $3.38 million in a lawsuit that is used refund illegal fees charged to him Black and Latino customers who have also been discriminated against Automotive News reports.

Passport Automotive Group is made off nine dealers in the Washington DC area. That Group was known for advertising with low prices used vehicles. However, cars rarely left the property at these advertised prices.

Passport would add bogus fees that merchants claimed customers had to pay. Many of the fees “required for the vehicles” were simply covered by the dealer. Of the Complaint:

For example, Passport Nissan of Marlow Heights advertised a Certified PreOwned 2018 Nissan Rogue for $24,050. However, the buyer was subsequently charged $2,390 in fees allegedly required for the overhaul and certification. As a result, the buyer ended up paying at least $2,390 more than the advertised price to purchase the vehicle. In another instance, Passport Mazda advertised a Certified Pre-Owned 2016 CX-5 for $19,900, but then charged the buyer a $695 fee allegedly required for certification.

Many of these charges were also pinned by use passport discriminatory practices – charging Interest rates for Black and Hispanic customers as a premium. On average, The complaint alleges that Passport charged Black and Hispanic customers these surcharges at a higher rate than white customers. The FTC says that in a three-year period between JanAugust 17th and 20th20, black customers were charged about $291 more in interest; Latino customers were charged about $235) more. The FTC also found that Passport was charged Black customers the maximum allowable surcharge 47 percent more likely than White consumers – and Latino customers would see this brandby 38 percent more.

The FTC didn’t have it. ItSDDirector of Bureau of consumer protection said in a statement, “The Commission continues to crack down on junk fees and discriminatory practices that harm Black and Hispanic consumers.” And the FTC meant business when the lawsuit ended in a settlement Passport is expected to be paid out $3.4 million to affected customers. Passport is also required set up and ensure a fair credit program Dealers have provisions not to add financing markups, as well Ban Passport Dealers from misrepresenting vehicle cost terms.

Although Passport has agreed to pay the fine, the merchant group denies all allegations the FTC has leveraged against it. answer to Automotive News, The dealer group says the charging was an isolated incident involving only “a group of three employees and those employees are no longer part of the organization”. Yes, okay.

Passport also disagrees with the FTC’s statement that their vendors engage in discrimination and say so Allegations are based on ‘an unreliable approach to guessing borrowers’ races’, which… doesn’t make much sense. The cards appear to be in the FTC’s favor in this case, as this isn’t the first time the agency has had to intervene pass sale practices methods exercises. Apparently the The retailer was involved in sending false recall notifications customers to entice them to visit the retailer as early as 2018.

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