February 3, 2023

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

ST. PETERS — Napleton Automotive Team, an car dealership chain, will fork out $10 million to settle a lawsuit alleging shady company tactics, the Federal Trade Commission reported Friday.

The lawsuit named eight of the company’s 51 dealerships, together with one particular spot in St. Peters. It alleged that dealerships charged buyers hidden expenses for unwanted increase-on products and solutions this sort of as payment insurance coverage and paint defense. It claimed the dealerships would add the expenses into lengthy acquiring contracts at the stop of negotiations, even when prospects experienced particularly declined the insert-ons.

It also claimed the dealerships charged Black clients greater financing expenses and desire charges than white consumers.

The dealerships billed Black clients about $99 more for incorporate-ons and $190 extra for funding, the lawsuit claimed.

Tilden Katz, a spokesperson for Napleton, claimed in an electronic mail Friday that the enterprise vehemently denies any wrongdoing but settled the situation to stay away from disruptions to the business.

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“We have taken techniques to put into practice additional safeguards to be certain entire transparency to our shoppers,” Katz mentioned. “We intend to proceed to create on the have confidence in we have worked so tricky to develop with the consuming community and glance ahead to developing new relationships with generations of content customers to occur.”

The lawsuit was submitted by the FTC and the point out of Illinois. The organization is centered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The dealerships named in the suit bundled spots in Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri.

The St. Peters dealership named in the circumstance was Napleton’s Mid Rivers Imports Inc., also performing company as Napleton’s Mid Rivers Kia.