FTC Fines New-Car Dealer

By Staff Writer May 29, 2020
According to the FTC complaint Bronx Honda in NYC charged higher financing markups and fees to black and Hispanic customers. According to the FTC complaint Bronx Honda in NYC charged higher financing markups and fees to black and Hispanic customers.

New York City car dealer Bronx Honda and its general manager, Carlo Fittanto, will pay $1.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges they discriminated against black and Hispanic car buyers and engaged in numerous other illegal business practices.

Bronx Honda dealership to pay $1.5M
Bronx Honda dealership to pay $1.5M in fines.

According to the FTC complaint, the defendants told salespeople to charge higher financing markups and fees to black and Hispanic customers. The defendants told employees that these groups should be targeted due to their limited education, and not to attempt the same practices with non-Hispanic white consumers. The complaint alleges that black consumers were charged about $163 more in interest than similarly situated non-Hispanic white consumers, while Hispanic consumers were charged about $211 more in interest.

In addition to alleged racial discrimination, the defendants are charged with numerous illegal practices in the advertising and sales process that caused consumers to pay substantially more than they expect. The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In addition to the $1.5 million payment that will be used to provide redress to consumers, the settlements also prohibit Bronx Honda and Fittanto from misrepresenting the cost or terms to buy, lease, or finance a car, or whether a fee or charge is optional. They will also be required to establish a fair lending program that will, among other components, cap the amount of additional interest markup they can charge consumers.

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Last modified on Friday, 29 May 2020 14:23