Lloyd's suit cites economic data used to support a recent series of lawsuits against banks and finance companies that engage in auto lending. Those suits challenge the practice of dealerships marking up wholesale interest rates that lenders charge.
The suit alleges that black customers "are subjected to markups that are on average more than twice the amount paid by white consumers with similar credit and other financial characteristics."
Kenneth Rojc, a Chicago lawyer who represents auto lenders and dealers, says it is significant that Lloyd's complaint "cites the same data used to sue Ford Credit, General Motors and others to challenge interest rate markups."
Lloyd, 41, bought a Toyota Camry from Koons Tyson Toyota in Vienna, Va., in 2001. He used the Koons Web site to order the car and set the terms of the deal, the complaint says.
But when he went to the dealership to complete his purchase, Lloyd says the store steered him to a more expensive vehicle and charged him unfavorable finance terms.
Lloyd's suit alleges that the dealership changed the terms because of his race.
Lloyd says he had a good credit score and paid his bills on time. But he alleges the dealership charged him a 16 percent interest rate it reserved for customers with risky credit. Dealership employees told Lloyd his credit rating was "horrendous," the complaint says.