VW Ordered to Pay Back On the Road Fees
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) recently took Volkswagen Financial Services South Africa to the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) over fees which most dealers charge customers when they buy a new car. These are commonly called ‘on the road fees’. These fees can add up to several thousand rand and cover a range of minor items not automatically included in the sale but later added to the account. These can be small items from getting new licence plates to having the car cleaned and filled up at a local petrol station.
The main issue is whether these fees get included and how interest is calculated on the customer’s account (if these fees show up there) and if they are allowed for in the National Credit Act and Regulations. Right off the bat, it is clear that the NCA does not mention such fees. Thus the NCT found that Volkswagen Financial Services South Africa should not be charging for them. Other credit providers have had rulings from the NCT that have indicated that they were able to charge for fees not mentioned in the NCA specifically.
‘the NCT found that Volkswagen Financial Services South Africa should not be charging for them’
More than just order Volkswagen Financial Services South Africa to stop charging such fees in the future the tribunal has now ordered that VW figure out who they have charged these fees over the many years and after providing the NCR with a report should take steps to pay back all the affected consumers.
Ms Nomsa Motshegare, CEO of the NCR says: “The NCR welcomes this judgment as it affirms the protection given to consumers by the National Credit Act against illegal charges and fees on credit agreements”.
It remains to be seen if Volkswagen Financial Services South Africa now decide to try to appeal the matter in a higher court or will go about paying back the funds.