Nissan Lease-End Buyout Settlement: Find Out If You’re Impacted

Key Takeaways

  • Nissan dealerships are under scrutiny after several are caught adding fraudulent fees to car lease buyouts
  • Drivers of leased cars should understand their lease contract before talking to dealers
  • It’s not too late to file a claim if you’ve been impacted

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Last updated Jun 17, 2024

In June 2024, the New York Attorney General’s office reached settlements with two Long Island Nissan dealerships, requiring them to pay over $350,000 in restitution and penalties for allegedly adding bogus fees and improperly raising prices on leased vehicles that consumers wanted to buy post-lease. Other Nissan dealerships may have employed similar tactics. Here’s what you need to know about the car lease buyout settlement, and what you can do to find out if you’re impacted by these or similar fraudulent lease charges.

Nissan Lease-End Settlement: Two NY Dealerships Fined, Will Pay Restitution

New York Car Lease End Settlement

The two dealerships involved are Nissan 112 of Patchogue and South Shore Nissan of Amityville. An investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office revealed that between 2020 and 2023, consumers who leased Nissan vehicles and opted to buy them at the end of their lease terms were substantially overcharged. The dealerships allegedly added miscellaneous fees and inflated vehicle prices on consumer invoices. 

This practice was found to be particularly egregious at Nissan 112, which had previously agreed in 2015 to cease issuing deceptive invoices bundling multiple after-sale products without clear price disclosure.

The NY car dealership settlements come as part of broader efforts by Attorney General Letitia James to crack down on deceptive practices in the auto industry. The details of the fines and restitution payments to impacted customers are intended to punish the violators while also deterring other dealerships from defrauding customers in the future.

  • South Shore Nissan: The dealership will pay $33,191 in restitution to 120 consumers and a $31,200 penalty for allegedly overcharging consumers.
  • Nissan 112: This dealership will pay $39,390 in restitution to 103 consumers and a $250,000 penalty for allegedly overcharging consumers and violating a prior settlement from 2015.

“Today we are putting money back in the pockets of defrauded New Yorkers and reminding car dealers to steer clear of violating our laws and deceiving consumers,” said Attorney General Letitia James in a statement shared by Automotive News.

The settlements with these two dealerships follow an April announcement where five other New York Nissan dealerships agreed to pay $2 million to settle similar allegations. These dealerships are Baron Nissan in Greenvale, Nissan of Westbury, Kings Nissan in Brooklyn, Nissan of Queens in Ozone Park, and Nissan of Staten Island.

What Drivers of Leased Cars Can Do

lease end buyout settlement

If you are leasing a car and nearing the end of your lease, it’s important to be aware of potential fees and price hikes. This is especially true if you’ve leased a Nissan in recent years. Here’s what you can do to check if you may be impacted and how to pursue a resolution:

Steps to Check if You’re Impacted

  1. Review your Lease Agreement: Carefully read your lease agreement to understand the terms of your lease-end purchase option. Find out exactly how much you should pay, plus taxes and required fees, before going to the dealership. Use this free guide to understanding your lease agreement.
  2. Inspect invoices and receipts: When you decide to buy your leased vehicle, scrutinize all invoices and receipts for any unexpected or miscellaneous fees. These are fees you should never pay.
  3. Compare prices: Check the agreed-upon buyout price in your lease agreement against the final price on the invoice. Any substantial increase should be questioned.
  4. Consult consumer protection resources: Noticing discrepancies in your lease contract? If not solution is reached with the dealership, look for guidance from consumer protection agencies like your Attorney General’s Office or legal resources to understand your rights.
  5. If needed, file a complaint: If the dealership is uncooperative or you suspect fraudulent charges, file a complaint with your state’s attorney general’s office or the consumer protection division.
  6. Monitor settlements: Stay informed about settlements and restitution programs similar to the ones announced by the New York Attorney General’s office. You might be eligible for restitution if your dealership is involved in such practices.

Conclusion: Stay Vigilant, and Check Your Car Lease Buyout Contract

The recent actions by the New York Attorney General’s office highlight the importance of vigilance when dealing with lease-end purchases. By being aware of potential deceptive practices and knowing how to address them, consumers can protect themselves and potentially recover any undue charges.

For more information or to report any issues related to these specific cases, visit the New York Attorney General’s website or contact their consumer protection division.


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