Auto Leasing Firms to Announce Return to N.Y. as Highway Bill Signed

August 9, 2005

DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors are slated to announce their return to leasing in New York State at a press conference to coincide with the signing of a federal highway bill by President Bush on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

The bill includes a provision that will end the state’s vicarious liability, a legal concept that holds a leasing company liable for the actions of a negligent driver.

Manufacturers say the signing heralds the likely return of 20 manufacturers, banks and finance companies who were decided to exit leasing in New York by the law.

Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Pontiac, Porsche, Saab, Saturn, and Subaru are all expected to start leasing again soon in New York State.

For those companies that continued to offer leases on their vehicles, vicarious liability forced them to charge higher acquisition fees to their New York customers. Mercedes-Benz has already announced that it will cut its acquisition fee as a result of the new legislation.

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