ECOA: Auto Group Fine $3.3 Million For Deceiving Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Passport Automotive Group, based in Washington, D.C., tricked customers by adding junk fees to the price of its cars.

Passport allegedly charged Black and Latino consumers extra financing prices and fees. This violates EEO and FTC laws.

For the case to be over, the defendants will have to pay $3.3 million and change how they do business in ways that should get the attention of others in the same field.

Passport has nine stores in Washington. The FTC sued Passport in 2018. The corporation sent false "urgent recall" notices that were sales pitches.

In the case that was just made public, Passport ads told people they could buy certain inspected, reconditioned, or certified vehicles at certain prices.

But the complaint said that when a customer tried to buy a car for the price that was advertised, Passport's double-talk and double pricing came into play.

Even though the quoted price covered certification, inspection, etc., Passport charged extra for the same services, according to the FTC.

The FTC stated Passport violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the FTC Act by charging Black and Latino clients extra to borrow money.

The FTC argues Passport's case-by-case markups led to Black and Latino consumers being charged more than non-Latino White customers.

Passport charged Black and Latino clients more for these extra costs, according to the complaint. Black customers spent $82 more than non-Latino White consumers, while Latinos paid $81.