Nissan Motor Company’s financing arm will pay the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) $ 4 million to settle charges of misappropriation of vehicles and other unfair and deceptive practices, the regulator said on Tuesday.
The CFPB alleged that Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. (NMAC) had violated consumer protection regulations by repossessing vehicles despite previous agreements with customers not to do so, refusing to return goods left in repossessed vehicles to customers until they had paid a fee, and causing customers to pay more. and deceptive loan repayment and extension options.
Nissan agreed to pay aggrieved consumers up to $ 1 million in restitution as well as the $ 4 million fine, and promised it would end the practices at the heart of the ordinance.
“The NMAC denies any wrongdoing but has agreed to settle with the CFPB in the best interests of all parties. While the NMAC does not agree with CFPB’s claims, we take their claims seriously and share their commitment to fair practices for all of our customers, ”said Nissan spokesperson Dan Passe.
The company has also agreed to submit a plan for CFPB approval that outlines how it will review internal controls over repossessions, identify future unwarranted repossessions and improve board oversight.
The charges brought by the CFPB all fall within its authority to monitor the consumer credit market for “unfair, abusive and deceptive acts and practices” through the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 financial reform law that created the office.
The CFPB alleged that Nissan had committed unfair acts in connection with its vehicle repossession practices and in failing to inform consumers that they would be forced to pay a fee of $ 7.95 to pay their bill by telephone. The office also alleged that Nissan tricked customers into signing loan extension agreements that included an invalid restriction on their ability to file for bankruptcy.