CFPB Fines Toyota $60 Million for Customer Defraud

CFPB Fines Toyota

Toyota Motor Credit Corporation, the financing arm of the renowned Japanese automaker, has been slapped with a hefty $60 million settlement by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) due to their dubious loan practices. This scheme inflated monthly loan payments for customers by enforcing product bundles that were nearly impossible to cancel.

The bundled offerings encompass Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Credit Life and Accidental Health (CLAH) coverage. These products, aimed at safeguarding consumers in auto loan scenarios, inadvertently caused significant financial strain and customer dissatisfaction.

Unaware of these inclusions or finding cancellation and refund processes arduous, customers were burdened with additional costs ranging from $700 to $2,500 per loan. Shockingly, dealers misled customers by presenting these products as mandatory or surreptitiously adding them to contracts.

Attempts to cancel these products were met with discouragement through a retention hotline, pushing customers to reconsider their cancellations repeatedly. Moreover, refund processing was flawed, redirecting refund amounts into loan principals rather than directly benefiting customers, only resolving upon lease or sale conclusion.

Toyota Motor Credit’s mishandling extended to erroneous calculations, false delinquency reports, and delayed corrections of adverse credit information, further damaging customers’ financial well-being.

Of the $60 million settlement, $32 million goes to customers denied refunds, $9.9 million to unsuccessful cancellation attempts, $6 million to those affected by misinformation, and $52,000 to customers facing inaccurate reimbursements. Additionally, $12 million will be contributed to the CFPB’s victim relief fund as a civil penalty.

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra condemned Toyota’s lending arm for unlawfully withholding refunds, complicating cancellation processes, and tarnishing credit reports. This emphasizes the growing challenges Americans face with auto loan payments, prompting continued scrutiny and action against larger auto lenders who exploit their customers.

This development from the CFPB serves as a beacon of hope amidst concerns raised by lawmakers urging the FTC to shield car buyers from dubious sales tactics. The hope is that such actions will deter companies from exploiting their customers.

Source: @JohnyHoang11