Sydney - BMW will have to pay back 72 million Australian dollars (R733m) to car buyers in Australia who were misled into believing they could afford the luxury German vehicles, the country's corporate watchdog announced on Tuesday.
In the biggest consumer remediation program in Australia's history, the finance arm of the luxury carmaker will also have to pay 5 million dollars (R50.9m) into a community fund to educate people about finance and borrowing, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) said.
ASIC said the remediation would identify at least 15 000 customers who between January 2011 and August 2016 may have suffered hardship as a result of BMW Finance's failure to comply with consumer protection law.
“BMW Finance had a sales-driven culture that failed to comply with the requirements of the credit laws and resulted in poor outcomes for many consumers,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
Poor business practices