FTC distributing payments to consumers impacted by shutdown dealers in Ariz. & NM
The Federal Trade Commission announced last week that it began sending payments to consumers impacted by dealerships operating in Arizona and New Mexico that the regulator shut down two years ago.
The FTC said it is sending payments totaling more than $415,000 to 3,508 consumers who financed a car or truck at a Tate’s Auto dealership after Jan. 1, 2013 and later had the vehicle repossessed.
Officials reiterated that Tate’s Auto allegedly deceived consumers about payment information and falsified information on consumers’ financing applications.
The FTC sued Tate's Auto in 2018 for inflating consumers’ income on financing applications to third-party finance companies, as well as deceiving consumers about the lease or financing terms of the vehicles they were acquiring.
Officials pointed out that many of Tate’s customers were citizens of the Navajo Nation, and Tate’s Auto frequently ran radio and print ads in Navajo media.
The FTC settled with the dealerships in August 2020 and ultimately reached a settlement with the individual defendant in July 2021 that required the defendant to pay money for consumer redress.
“The FTC wishes to acknowledge the valuable assistance of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission during the investigation of this case,” officials said in a news release.
The FTC added that eligible consumers will receive a check in the mail, unless they specifically requested a PayPal payment. Recipients should cash checks within 90 days or redeem PayPal payments within 30 days.