Toyota dealer reaches settlement over $650 'processing' fees

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 20, 2014

KINGSTON, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Monday with a Kingston auto dealer that allegedly added improper fees to the purchase price of leased vehicles without providing additional services.

Prestige Automobiles Inc., doing business as Prestige Toyota, allegedly added $650 processing fees to the purchase price of leased vehicles bought by customers at the end of their leases. Prestige allegedly provided no added service for the payment of the fee and failed to properly disclose the fee.

“The law is clear: auto dealers must treat consumers fairly and honestly, and not cheat them by charging bogus fees,” Schneiderman said. “This is one more step in our work to stop deceptive marketing practices in New York state and ensure that victims can recover their hard-earned dollars. There must be one set of rules for all New Yorkers, and that includes auto dealers.”

Schneiderman alleged that at least 27 consumers were charged improper proper fees by Prestige Toyota.

Under the terms of the settlement, Prestige Toyota must pay $17,250.47 in restitution to the 27 customers who were allegedly charged the improper processing fee. Prestige Toyota must also reform its practices and pay $10,000 in penalties to the state.

If additional consumers come forward to Schneiderman's office before Dec. 6 with proof they were charged the allegedly improper fee, they will also be entitled to restitution.

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