Government Long Island News NYC

NY AG Secures $1.9 Million Settlement From Nissan Dealerships

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James announced settlements worth more than $1.9 million with five Nissan car dealerships in New York City and on Long Island for overcharging over a thousand New Yorkers who wanted to purchase their leased vehicles at the end of their lease term. An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that the dealerships added junk fees or falsified the price of vehicles between 2020 and 2023. The agreements require the dealerships to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution to more than 1,100 consumers and a civil penalty of $340,000.

“Ignoring agreements and adding bogus fees harms New York consumers, and that is something my office won’t allow to go unchallenged,” said Attorney General James. “These car dealerships lined their pockets at the expense of hardworking New Yorkers who were trying to have a reliable car to get to work, take their children to school, run errands, and live their daily lives. Our investigation and settlement put money back into New Yorkers’ pockets and send a clear message that lying to New Yorkers and manipulating costs with shady tactics will not be tolerated.”

The OAG opened an investigation into five Nissan dealerships—Baron Nissan on Long Island, Nissan of Westbury on Long Island, Nissan of Kings in Brooklyn, Nissan of Queens, and Nissan of Staten Island—after consumers reported they were being overcharged and given inaccurate receipts. The investigation found that each of these consumers leased their Nissan cars under an agreement that gave them the option to purchase the vehicle for a set amount after the lease term ended. But when the consumers returned to the dealerships when their leases were up to buy their car, the dealerships substantially overcharged them. The dealers either added miscellaneous “dealership fees” or “administrative fees,” or inflated the vehicle’s price on the invoice given to the consumer. In some instances, customers were overcharged as much as $7,000 on an $18,000 vehicle.

The OAG investigation also revealed that the dealerships provided customers with deceptive invoices. These included misrepresenting illegal upcharges as government fees, such as a $37 state inspection fee that dealers charged as $300, and a $50 title fee dealers charged as $500. New York law guarantees every consumer the right to a complete and accurate receipt for every car sale, yet thousands of examined invoices failed that basic test.

Under the agreements announced today:

  • Baron Nissan will pay $204,656.89 to 186 overcharged consumers and a $51,190 penalty.
  • Nissan of Kings will pay $437,560.86 to 420 overcharged consumers and a $147,000 penalty.
  • Nissan of Queens will pay $608,347.83 to 276 overcharged consumers and a $69,757 penalty.
  • Nissan of Staten Island will pay $282,255.61 to 184 overcharged consumers and a $55,200 penalty.
  • Nissan of Westbury will pay $102,636.07 to 72 overcharged consumers and a $19,440 penalty.

“When buying out a vehicle lease, the only thing that should be taken for a ride is the car,” said State Senator Monica R. Martinez. “On behalf of customers across Long Island, I thank Attorney General James for putting the brakes on these fraudulent and deceptive end-of-lease purchasing fees that have cost consumers in excess of $1 million.”