DaimlerChrysler will settle lawsuits in Chicago and New Jersey challenging the interest rates on auto loans for minorities.
In the Chicago case, the automaker's financing arm will spend more than $1 million on finance-education and anti-discrimination training and set up a diversity panel for auto financing.
In the New Jersey case, it agreed to limit how much dealers can mark up interest rates on auto loans. It also will pay more than $1 million for consumer finance education programs.
The settlements are the latest victories for lawyers and consumer groups working to rein in interest markups on auto loans. The groups contend minorities routinely are charged higher markups regardless of their credit rating.
The 2-year-old Chicago suit also alleged workers in the automaker's financial services office justified some of their decisions on the basis of race. The claims prompted a boycott of the automaker in the Chicago area.
DaimlerChrysler agreed to limit interest rate markups in New Jersey to 2.5 percentage points, half a percentage point below its previous cap. Five plaintiffs in the case will split $65,000.