Toyota Financial Ordered to Pay $60M Penalty

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

toyota financial ordered to pay 60m penalty

In yet another chapter of dealers (and their financial arms) behaving badly, Toyota Motor Credit has been levied $12 million civil fine and also order to fork over $48 million in restitution after a court found the organization played fast and loose with some rules.

At issue were items described by the court as “product bundles” which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges were nigh-impossible to cancel once pushed through the approval process. This, they say, drove up monthly payments of hapless customers. Anyone who’s been plunked into the business office of a dealership knows exactly the types of bundles to which the CFPB is alluding.

Interestingly, the company apparently did not admit or deny liability whilst agreeing to settle the case. A number – thousands, according to the regular – of customers seemingly complained about being saddled with these add-on bundles, alleging shadiness at the dealer level about if these packages were mandatory or the rushing of paperwork in apparent attempts to obfuscate true costs.

But the dealers aren’t all to blame, it seems. The regulator goes on to say that Toyota Motor Credit went out of its way to making the reversal of these charges “extremely cumbersome”, including the practice of routing callers to agents instructed to discourage cancellations. In some cases, refunds are alleged to not have been given at all – whether due to requests falling through the cracks, someone losing paperwork, or willful maliciousness is unclear.

According to reports, the consent order instructs Toyota Motor Credit to simplify the process for cancelling unwanted product bundles whilst also agreeing to monitor the conduct of its dealer body more closely. As well, it is suggested they also copped to ensuring employee pay and performance metrics are not tied to sales of these bundles but anyone with even a passing knowledge of dealer management techniques know that decree is all but impossible to enforce. In a statement, Toyota Motor Credit said it "admitted to no wrongdoing but agreed to the terms of the consent order with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to fulfill our commitment to continually provide ever-better service to our customers.” 

And your kid promises to do their homework on time, as well.

[Image: Toyota]

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3 of 21 comments
  • Peter Peter 7 days ago

    No biggie just add another $60 million to Toyota’s $225 Billion debt pile. #Worlds most indebted company.

    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto 6 days ago

      Totally a good reason to switch to Hyundai Kia for a healthier company serving higher ATPs.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke 2 days ago

    A rare black eye for Toyota. I'd expect shenanigans from the dealer's F&I office - I experienced them when I bought my then-new 2013 Tacoma (and paid cash for it) eleven years ago, but I expect more from a corporate finance arm.

    Have they been hiring people from Wells Fargo?

  • RICK Lou, not sure about panthers and Cougars , BUT at 76,I now consider myself a vintage Rolls Canardly. I roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next! Wishing you a Very Happy, Merry HanaKwanzaMas. 🎅🎄
  • Lou_BC The dealbreaker for me is the $80k starting price in Canada.
  • Zipper69 The Grenadier was designed ground up to be a "better Land Rover" and by most press accounts comes close.What little we know about the Quartermaster it's clear that it's intended for serious off road work without additional aftermarket fettling needed.The price is clearly a barrier, but IF it's the real deal, it will have a slot in the market.
  • Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
  • FreedMike Meanwhile, over at Nissan, you can get a perfectly nice, well equipped Frontier four-door that has a V-6, 4wd, and is capable of all the "truck stuff" you could ever want for $36,000. And unlike the "pay over sticker or go f**k yourself" nonsense you get at the Toyota place, the Nissan store will probably happily make you a nice deal.