Volkswagen Financial Services won't refund car owners - for now

Volkswagen Financial Services SA (VWFS) won't refund vehicle owners, for now.   

This week, the National Credit Tribunal ordered VWFS to repay a range of fees which have been levied on financing contracts. 

These so-called “on-the-road charges” (OTR fees) - which include the costs of fuel, licensing, valets, inspections and roadworthiness certificates - were added to the financed prices of cars, and weren’t allowed in terms of the National Credit Act, the National Credit Regulator said.

See also: Bought a Volkswagen in SA since 2007? You may be owed thousands - here’s how to claim

But VWFS holds a different view on the interpretation of the provisions of the NCA, it said in a statement on Thursday.

 

Its lawyers believe there are "good prospects of success" on appeal and VWFS will not be making any refunds until the appeal is finalised. 

According to some estimates, these fees reached up to R4,000 a vehicle. 

In 2017, the NCR ordered both Volkswagen Financial Services and BMW Financial Services to repay these fees.

Volkswagen appealed to the higher authority, the National Credit Tribunal, which on Tuesday found against it. The tribunal told Volkswagen Financial Services to stop charging the fees by Wednesday.

It was ordered to refund all the fees and interest levied on the fees to customers, and submit a report by independent auditors to the NCR.

The NCR invited VWFS customers to lodge a formal complaint with the organisation. “The NCR will keep a record and ensure that the consumers are included in the audit which needs to be conducted,” a spokesperson told Business Insider.

Volkswagen owners who bought their vehicles through banks and other financing institutions are not affected.

VWFS is a separate legal entity from Volkswagen South Africa.

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