7 On Your Side: More customers overcharged while buying out car leases

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022
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7 On Your Side has been warning consumers about being overcharged while buying cars at the end of their leases.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- 7 On Your Side has been warning consumers about being overcharged while buying cars at the end of their leases.

Nina Pineda and her team helped recover more than $31,000 for Nissan customers so far, and the New York Attorney General's Office has opened a consumer fraud investigation.

Now, 7 On Your Side is getting complaints from customers in other states buying not just Nissans.

Two car buyers from New Jersey joined the chorus of customers from the New York, who complained loudly to 7 On Your Side regarding fees buying out their leases.

In Bergen County, Judith Dawson and her son Brad, decided to buy their 2019 Kia at the end of its lease. She went to her dealer, Kia of West Nyack. Somehow an extra $2,363 was tacked onto her invoice but not written anywhere.

"I called the next day and said these numbers don't add up. Can you explain them," Dawson said. "I have the buyout and what is supposed to be, and she says 'I don't have your paperwork'."

Eventually, Dawson was told the $2,000-plus overcharge was to verify the warranty on the car.

Another New Jersey customer Ricci Cahili says she was overcharged more than 2,400, buying out her leased CX5 at Open Road Mazda. Part of the charge was labeled as a destination fee.

Car buyers should be aware the buyout price is already negotiated on the contract when you lease a vehicle, as its residual value.

But 7 On Your Side contacted both dealers, which initially refused their customers refunds.

Kia's general manager apologized to the Dawson's.

"I thank 7 On Your Side and you Nina, for everything you do," said Judy Dawson while holding up the check.

Meanwhile, the general manager of Open Road Mazda personally gave Ricci her check for over $2,400. The dealer apologized to Ricci, saying clearly mistakes were made and says they are retraining personnel on proper procedures.

Open Road also said the finance manager was dismissed.

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