The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling more than $9.8 million to consumers who were harmed by Illinois-based Napleton Automotive Group’s junk fees and discriminatory practices.
The agency is sending 66,355 checks, averaging $147 each. 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. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.
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 Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases. In 2021, Commission actions led to more than $472 million in refunds to consumers across the country, but these refunds were the result of cases resolved before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the Commission lacks authority under Section 13(b) to seek monetary relief in federal court. Because of that ruling, the Commission no longer has its strongest tool to return money to consumers, and it will become harder to provide refunds to consumers harmed by deceptive and unfair conduct. The Commission has urged Congress to restore its ability to get money back for consumers.