A Hudson Valley car dealership admitted they scammed close to 300 customers out of nearly $300,000 by adding on bogus fees.

On Monday, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a $298,000 settlement with Nissan of New Rochelle for deceptively charging hundreds for an unwanted and bogus anti-theft product that cost up to thousands of dollars per customer.

The item, known as an “after-sale” product, was often added onto the final cost of the vehicle without the consumer’s knowledge or consent, after the customer had agreed upon the purchase price of a vehicle, but before the sale transaction was finalized.

“Consumers should not have to worry that they are being scammed into adding on bogus products and services when they purchase a car,” Schneiderman said. “Buying a car is already a major investment for many families, and tacking on thousands of dollars extra can become a significant financial burden.”

Consumers were charged amounts ranging from $215 to over $5,000.

Under the agreement, Nissan of New Rochelle will refund $276,127 to 298 consumers who were charged an add-on fee for the Total Loss Protection product. In addition to restitution, the dealership will also pay $22,084 in penalties, fees, and costs to the State.

The dealership has also agreed to certain reforms to its sales practices, including:

• Fully disclosing that any and all after-sale services or products are optional and that the price is negotiable;
• Clearly explaining to each consumer any and all after-sale services or products being offered by the dealership; and
• Only adding an after-sale service or product to the final bill with the knowledge and full consent of the consumer.

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