June 16, 2024

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Feds: Napleton car dealer charged hidden fees, hiked rates for Black customers | Local Business

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ST. PETERS — Napleton Automotive Team, an auto dealership chain, will pay back $10 million to settle a lawsuit alleging shady business enterprise tactics, the Federal Trade Fee stated Friday.

The lawsuit named eight of the company’s 51 dealerships, which include a single location in St. Peters. It alleged that dealerships charged clients hidden fees for undesired add-on merchandise this sort of as payment coverage and paint security. It claimed the dealerships would incorporate the costs into lengthy purchasing contracts at the conclusion of negotiations, even when buyers had specifically declined the incorporate-ons.

It also claimed the dealerships billed Black consumers increased financing service fees and fascination rates than white buyers.

The dealerships charged Black buyers about $99 more for insert-ons and $190 more for funding, the lawsuit claimed.

Tilden Katz, a spokesperson for Napleton, mentioned in an email Friday that the corporation vehemently denies any wrongdoing but settled the circumstance to steer clear of disruptions to the business enterprise.

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“We have taken techniques to employ supplemental safeguards to guarantee complete transparency to our buyers,” Katz mentioned. “We intend to continue on to make on the have faith in we have worked so challenging to build with the consuming public and appear forward to developing new associations with generations of contented shoppers to appear.”

The lawsuit was filed by the FTC and the state of Illinois. The enterprise is based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The dealerships named in the go well with involved spots in Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri.

The St. Peters dealership named in the scenario was Napleton’s Mid Rivers Imports Inc., also carrying out business as Napleton’s Mid Rivers Kia.

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