The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. was joined by Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres at a Detroit press conference Monday, as the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition reiterated accusations of discriminatory practices by Nissan and the automotive industry as a whole.

Jackson announced the coalition would step up challenges against Nissan in the coming weeks, according to a coalition press release.

Ayres and Vanderbilt University professor Mark Cohen have studied more than 300,000 actual automotive finance transactions, discovering statistics indicating the occurrence of predatory lending, in which high fees or exorbitant costs are charged to targeted groups, and other dubious practices throughout the industry.

The Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation released an analysis in July pointing out fundamental flaws in the studies of Ayres and Cohen.

Monday night, Cohen said in an e-mail statement that he was not aware of the press conference. Ayres could not be reached for comment in Detroit.

The announcement followed a morning meeting with executives from General Motors and comes less than two weeks after the Second Annual Automotive Symposium, where the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition made similar allegations against Nissan and Toyota.

This past July, Jackson accused Nissan of “economic profiling” citing studies by the two professors showing African-Americans pay higher average prices for automobiles than whites, according to the Associated Press.

-Katherine Stevens