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FTC Returns Additional $857,000 To Consumers Harmed by Napleton Auto’s Junk Fees and Discriminatory Practices

The Federal Trade Commission is sending a second round of payments totaling more than $857,000 to consumers who were harmed by Illinois-based Napleton Automotive Group’s junk fees and discriminatory practices.

The agency is sending 37,034 checks in this mailing. Recipients should cash checks within 90 days. Consumers who have questions about their refund should call the refund administrator, Epiq, at 1-888-691-6050 or visit the FTC website to view frequently asked questions about the refund process. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.

The FTC sent the initial refund mailing in this case in November 2022. More than 88% of eligible consumers cashed their checks, resulting in more than $8.8 million returned to consumers.  

The FTC and the State of Illinois sued Napleton Automotive Group in March 2022, alleging that Napleton employees were sneaking illegal junk fees for unwanted “add-ons” onto vehicle purchases and discriminating against Black consumers. According to the joint complaint, eight of the company’s dealership illegally tacked on junk fees for unwanted “add-on” products such as payment insurance and paint protection, costing consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The complaint also alleged that Napleton discriminated against Black consumers by charging them more for add-ons and financing.

The case settled for a record amount for an auto finance case, reflecting the widespread and high-dollar nature of the harm to consumers. The FTC received 391 complaints—about add-ons and other issues—over a several-month period prior to filing a complaint against Napleton, the thirteenth largest dealership group in the country by revenue as of 2020. However, in a survey of the dealer’s customers over the same time period, 83% of respondents—or at least 16,848 customers—indicated they were subject to the dealer’s unlawful practices related to add-ons alone. This is consistent with the FTC’s experience, which finds that consumer complaints represent the tip of the iceberg compared to the number of consumers harmed.

Consumers who have a bad experience while shopping for a car can inform the FTC about the issues they faced via the Report Fraud website. 

The Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases. In 2022, Commission actions led to more than $392 million in refunds to consumers across the country.

Official news published at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2023/11/ftc-returns-additional-857000-consumers-harmed-napleton-autos-junk-fees-discriminatory-practices

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