ST. PETERS — Napleton Automotive Group, an automobile dealership chain, will pay back $10 million to settle a lawsuit alleging shady enterprise tactics, the Federal Trade Fee mentioned Friday.
The lawsuit named eight of the company’s 51 dealerships, which includes one particular location in St. Peters. It alleged that dealerships charged consumers hidden costs for unwelcome insert-on products this kind of as payment insurance policy and paint security. It claimed the dealerships would add the fees into lengthy buying contracts at the close of negotiations, even when prospects had specifically declined the insert-ons.
It also claimed the dealerships billed Black customers greater financing fees and desire costs than white prospects.
The dealerships billed Black prospects about $99 extra for incorporate-ons and $190 additional for financing, the lawsuit claimed.
Tilden Katz, a spokesperson for Napleton, explained in an email Friday that the firm vehemently denies any wrongdoing but settled the circumstance to stay clear of disruptions to the small business.
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“We have taken ways to carry out extra safeguards to be certain whole transparency to our customers,” Katz said. “We intend to continue to build on the have faith in we have labored so hard to make with the consuming community and glimpse ahead to setting up new interactions with generations of satisfied prospects to come.”
The lawsuit was submitted by the FTC and the state of Illinois. The corporation is dependent in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The dealerships named in the fit incorporated locations in Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri.
The St. Peters dealership named in the scenario was Napleton’s Mid Rivers Imports Inc., also executing organization as Napleton’s Mid Rivers Kia.