FTC and The State of Illinois v. North American Automotive Services, Inc., et al

$10 Million in fines


Ed Napleton Automotive Group was held liable for imposing unauthorized "junk fees" by sneaking unwanted add-on products.

Our analysis

North American Automotive Services, Inc. was found liable by the FTC for engaging in deceptive practices at eight of its dealerships, along with the general manager of two Illinois dealerships.
-The deception primarily revolved around the improper imposition of "junk fees" for unwanted add-on products, including payment insurance and paint protection for its online products, which imposed significant financial burdens on consumers. The dealerships employed a deceitful approach by waiting until the end of lengthy negotiation processes, often involving 60-page contracts, to surreptitiously insert these junk fees into consumers' purchase agreements, even when consumers had explicitly declined these add-ons or had agreed to prices that excluded them.
-Additionally, consumers were sometimes misled into believing that these add-ons were either free or mandatory for their vehicle purchase or financing.
-The FTC's case against North American Automotive Services, Inc. and the affiliated dealerships primarily hinged on the violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, as specified in 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). The deceptive design employed by the dealerships involved the surreptitious inclusion of junk fees for add-on products in consumers' contracts, a practice commonly referred to as "sneaking."


In accordance with the proposed settlement reached with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of Illinois, a $10 million judgment has been rendered. Of this amount, $9.95 million is designated for providing monetary relief to affected consumers, while an additional $50,000 will be allocated to the Illinois Attorney General Court Ordered and Voluntary Compliance Payment Projects Fund. Furthermore, the settlement mandates the defendants to institute a comprehensive fair lending program. This program encompasses various elements, including a restriction on the additional interest markup that can be imposed on consumers. Additionally, the settlement compels the defendants to charge consumers only with explicit and informed consent, while prohibiting any misrepresentation of the costs or terms associated with purchasing, leasing, or financing a vehicle, as well as the optional nature of any fees or charges.


Federal Trade Commission, North American Automotive Services, Ed Napleton Elmhurst Imports, Napleton’s Arlington Heights Motors, Hitko Kadric, Napleton’s North Palm Auto Park, Napleton Enterprises, LLC, Clermont Motors, LLC, North Palm Motors, LLC, Napleton’s Ellwood Motors, and Napleton’s Mid Rivers Imports

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