Chinese authorities have fined Toyota's financing unit for commercial bribery after it paid dealers for directing loan business its way, state media reported on Sept. 21.
Toyota Motor Finance (China) Co. gave rebates to three dealers after they had steered their customers to borrow money from Toyota rather than local banks between August 2008 and April 2010, the official Xinhua news agency said.
An investigation by officials in the eastern city of Hangzhou found Toyota's annual interest rate was 10%-13% compared with less than 7% at major state-owned banks, Xinhua said.
The financing unit offered a portion of the interest earnings as rebates to the auto dealers, the report said.
Authorities fined Toyota Motor Finance -- a subsidiary of Toyota Financial Services -- 140,000 yuan (US$20,850) and confiscated its illegal earnings of 426,352 yuan.
Officials in the eastern city of Ningbo also were investigating Toyota Motor Finance following similar allegations of commercial bribery.
The Beijing-based spokesman for Toyota was not immediately available to comment.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010