A landmark ruling that found racial bias in dealership markups of vehicle loans is back to a federal judge to issue remedies.
The parties to the class-action lawsuit failed to compromise on a settlement.
Primus Financial Services Inc., a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., did not reach a voluntary agreement with plaintiffs' attorneys by the April 25 deadline set by the court.
Primus headquarters is in Franklin, Tenn.
U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger in Nashville, Tenn., ruled in March that Primus allowed dealerships to mark up wholesale interest rates on vehicle loans it provided them.
Some of those dealerships charged black customers more than comparable white buyers, the plaintiffs alleged.
Ford and Primus have imposed a voluntary ceiling of 2.5 percentage points on rate markups. But Primus argued at trial it does not control individual dealerships' markup policies.
Trauger said in her ruling that the plaintiffs proved their case. She ordered both sides to try to reach a "workable" compromise.
Ford spokeswoman Meredith Libbey says Primus "did follow the judge's instructions."
"We did sit down with the other side," Libbey says. "But we were not able to come to an agreement."
Plaintiffs' lawyers would not comment.
There was no indication when Trauger would announce remedies in the case.
Several banks and finance companies have settled similar lawsuits by agreeing to limit rate markups. The Primus lawsuit is the first to go to trial.
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