VW Financial Services Appeal Devastating NCT Ruling
The entire motor industry is holding its breath in the wake of a ruling by the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) that vehicle finance credit providers should not add ‘on the road‘ fees to consumers’ bills. The ruling could potentially see many millions of rand returned to consumers by more than just VW Financial Services (who were involved in the particular ruling).
A while back the National Credit Regulator (NCR) decided to take on VW Financial Services over fees that dealers add to the final bill when consumers purchase a car. These fees are known as on the road fees and can amount to R3000 or even R4000 rand. Traditionally, these fees have ended up being paid via the credit the consumer gets for the vehicle or added to the overall bill which attracts interest. The National Credit Act & regulations has a list of charges and fees that credit providers are allowed to charge but on the road fees are not one of them.
Appealing the Ruling
VW Financial Services have followed the traditional route of those found to be in contravention of the Act by the NCT and appealed to a higher court since the matter could result in a devastating amount of money having to be returned to consumers.
During the appeal process, consumers will probably still face on the road fees from dealers at the various brands. This may change in the future or these may need to be paid up front in cash etc but for now, most dealers and brands have a wait and see attitude. VW has also said that until they resolve the matter at a higher court they will not be making plans to refund anyone for these fees and interest charged on them.
Some brands like BMW Financial Services also received a similar compliance notice about these fees from the NCR but dispute the NCR’s view about such fees and have objected to the notice themselves. They may even have to go to the NCT and present argument or it might be that these matters are postponed while the NCR await a ruling on the matter form a higher court.
The NCR is very happy that the NCT ruled in their favour in the first round of legal battles and are ready to take the fight to the higher courts confident that they are correct in this matter and these fees are, in fact, illegal.