VW financers appeal tribunal ruling on 'unlawful' on-the-road admin fees

Volkswagen Financial Services SA is appealing against an order by the national consumer tribunal.
Volkswagen Financial Services SA is appealing against an order by the national consumer tribunal.

Volkswagen Financial Services SA (VWFS) says it has taken legal advice and is appealing against an order by the national consumer tribunal which found that some fees charged on its consumer agreements were unlawful.

The tribunal ruled on Monday that the on-the-road, admin and handling fees charged by Volkswagen Financial Services SA on consumer credit agreements were unlawful.

"VWFS has taken external legal advice and the legal team has informed them that it has good prospects of success on appeal," it said in a statement on Thursday.

"As a result, VWFS has noted an appeal against the order. The noting of the appeal will suspend the order of the tribunal and VWFS will not be making any refunds until the appeal is finalised."

VWFS is a separate legal entity from Volkswagen SA.

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) had previously issued a compliance notice to the car financer in 2017. The notice instructed them to refund consumers and submit an audit report to the regulator.

The tribunal found that the fees were not permitted to be charged on credit agreements by the National Credit Act.

SowetanLIVE reported on Monday that the tribunal had ordered the car financer to:

• Cease to charge consumers "on the road" admin and handling fees on credit agreements from April 10 2019 and to submit written confirmation to the NCR to this effect.

• Calculate the total charges, fees or interest levied on the "on the road", admin and handling fees; and

• Refund all those consumer charges, fees or interest levied and submit a report by independent auditors to the NCR.

NCR CEO Nomsa Motshegare welcomed the judgment, saying it "affirms the protection given to consumers by the National Credit Act against illegal charges and fees on credit agreements".

Volkswagen Financial Services SA said at the time that it was "reviewing the ruling and obtaining legal advice. We shall revert in due course.".


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