The National Consumer Tribunal has handed down judgement to Volkswagen Financial Services South Africa for charging consumers various “unlawful” fees.

The judgement confirms a compliance notice issued by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) back in October 2017 regarding “on the road” fees, admin fees and handling fees on credit agreements.

In its judgement, the tribunal found the three aforementioned fees charged by Volkswagen Financial Services to consumers on credit agreements were not permitted by the National Credit Act.

The Tribunal ordered Volkswagen Financial Services “cease the practice and/or conduct of charging consumers the ‘on the road’, admin and handling fees on credit agreements from 10 April 2019” and to submit written confirmation to the NCR to this effect.

It furthermore ruled VW SA’s finance arm “calculate the total amount of charges, fees or interest” levied on these fees and “refund all those consumers charges, fees or interest levied”.

“The NCR welcomes this judgement as it affirms the protection given to consumers by the National Credit Act against illegal charges and fees on credit agreements,” said Nomsa Motshegare, chief executive officer of the NCR.

The NCR said it would continue to conduct “industry-wide investigations” on fees and charges on credit agreements to “root out illegal charges and fees”.

On Twitter, Volkswagen SA advised consumers seeking to claim a refund to either contact their “selling VW dealer” for “clarity on this matter” or “get in touch directly with VWFS on 0860 434 737 (select option 2) or [email protected]”.