mbender
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Excessive wear bill from Nissan (any recourse?)

Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:19 am

Last week I was rudely notified (by certified mail) that I had many hundreds of dollars of "excessive wear" on the 2012 I recently turned in at the end of its two-year lease. I'm a bit upset for a number of reasons:

  1. There was no itemized list of what was wrong with it, or their corresponding cost(s)/charge(s). It also didn't list the "loyalty credit/allowance" that second time and up leasers are supposed to be given (which I have been told is $500).
  2. I had called my dealer a week or two before returning it and asked for a pre-return inspection, as I believed one was supposed to do. The dealer said bring it in and I did, waiting in the lobby for about an hour as they did the work. They came back with paperwork that said everything was fine. I left a little uncertain of what had transpired, and it was only later that I realized that they didn't do at all what I wanted, but rather did the perfunctory "multi-point inspection".
  3. Before this became clear to me though, I unexpectedly found a good lease offer at another dealer and took the offer. Because I had the "pre-return" inspection done and because I had the 2012 detailed before "trading it in", I had some confidence that I would not be charged for excessive wear.
  4. At trade-in I was told about the $500 credit, but was also told that I probably wouldn't require any of it because my car looked very good. I understood that they couldn't be held to that though, because it would be done by a third party.

Only after getting the bill and talking to someone at the phone number on it, did I fully realize that calling my dealer for the pre-return inspection was a big mistake, and that it was Nissan proper that I was supposed to call*. So of course part of my "upsetness" is directed at myself, but the dealer could also have figured out what I was asking for and explained that I had to call Nissan, and give me the number, etc.

Now admittedly, I did have some minor scratches from shopping carts, and it may just be that I wouldn't have been able to "fix" them enough to avoid charges even if I had known, but still, I feel that 1.) the charges are excessive, and 2.) the dealer could and should have pointed me in the correct direction.

Finally, regarding the "any recourse?" part of the title line, does anyone know if there's anything I can do to contest the high bill? Has anyone else been shocked by excessive wear charges, and what did you do? I did request an itemized list and was told that they'd send a copy, but in the meantime I'm trying to figure out what I'll do after I see it. Without proper accountability, what would keep these third parties (+ Nissan) from just "arbitrarily" handing out excessive wear bills to anyone who had not done the proper pre-return inspection?!

And a final fyi: I was told during the post-sale phone call that the balance due on the bill I saw did already have the $500 credit applied to it, even though it was not itemized or so noted on the bill.

* Yet another reason not to like the dealership model.
I think I just felt my paradigm shift.

2012 SL (One of the colors): 2-year lease, 2012+,
2015 S w/QC (A different color): 3-year lease, 2014+,
2017 SV (Same color as 2015 S): 3-year lease, 2017+, lower monthly than either above(!)

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SalisburySam
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Re: Excessive "excessive wear" tab (any recourse?)

Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:39 am

Just some suggestions, none of which may make a difference but then...just might:

    1- WRITE, not call, not text, not email, an objective (non-emotional) and short letter of the facts to whomever mailed you the notice. This has far more effect if drafted by an attorney on his/her letterhead, ending with what your desired result is. Have the attorney send copies to the dealers involved and the local BBB, and note that as cc:'s on the letter.
    2- Depending upon results of #1 above, file a formal report with the local BBB.
    3- Post an item on your social media pages.
    4- Post an item on all the Nissan social media and websites that will allow it, as you did on MNL but see note below.
    5- Send a complaint to KBB, Edmunds, TrueDelta, Consumer Reports, MSNBC, local newspaper and news station action lines, and anyone else in the slightest involved in consumer relations. Expect nothing but it might just be a slow news day for one or more of these and any interest could be helpful to your cause.
    6- Send a complaint to your State and Federal representatives.
    7- Send a complaint to your State dealer licensing agency. Even if Nissan financed, your liaison was the dealer.
    8- Send a complaint to your State bank and financial institution licensing agencies.

That should get you started.

NOTE: The contents of anything you send, post, or complain about should be absolutely non-emotional, thoroughly factual, as short as possible (nothing long ever gets read by those inundated with inbound communiques), and very specific.

Good luck!
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mkjayakumar
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Re: Excessive "excessive wear" tab (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:43 am

If I may, what was the bill amount in question ?
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Currently leasing 2014 Leaf SV.

KillaWhat
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Re: Excessive "excessive wear" tab (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:41 am

mkjayakumar wrote:If I may, what was the bill amount in question ?


+1

There MUST be some sort of recourse / appeal process built in to this process.
Surely you are not the first person in this position.
Published Guidelines?
Itemization?
Should be legally obligated to provide both.
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Re: Excessive wear bill from Nissan (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:03 pm

When I saw the part about 'scratches deep enough to catch a fingernail' in the description from Nissan of what gets charged, I was appalled. They put soft, thin paint on the cars and then apply an unreasonably high standard on lease return inspections! And they don't allow touch-up paint! If most of the charge is for scratches, find a body shop that specializes in this, and has a good reputation.
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mbender
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Re: Excessive "excessive wear" tab (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:13 pm

mkjayakumar wrote:If I may, what was the bill amount in question ?

Well, "many hundreds" is all I can be sure of at this point, because I don't really know if the $500 allowance has been applied yet. There's no indication on the bill either way, but the rep on the phone said that it had. The actual number next to the generic "Plus Excess Wear & Use" line is over $800, but apparently you also pay tax on that amount, so the final balance due is more than $900 (and < $1000).

So... if the credit has already been applied, the wear came to roughly $1400 and was reduced to $900.

And in the unlikely case that the credit has not yet been applied, the amount due could yet go from $900+ to perhaps $400 (adjusting for the tax reduction).

ps. I agree with you Leftie about the paint! I'm very upset about this and will do what I can... (Thank you, SalSam for the suggestions, many of which I hope to use.)
I think I just felt my paradigm shift.

2012 SL (One of the colors): 2-year lease, 2012+,
2015 S w/QC (A different color): 3-year lease, 2014+,
2017 SV (Same color as 2015 S): 3-year lease, 2017+, lower monthly than either above(!)

bbrowncods
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Re: Excessive wear bill from Nissan (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:30 pm

That works out to be about 50-60 dollars a month extra on a 24 month lease. That is a lot of damage! I'm glad I don't lease.
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redLEAF
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Re: Excessive "excessive wear" tab (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:42 pm

mbender wrote:
mkjayakumar wrote:If I may, what was the bill amount in question ?

Well, "many hundreds" is all I can be sure of at this point, because I don't really know if the $500 allowance has been applied yet. There's no indication on the bill either way, but the rep on the phone said that it had. The actual number next to the generic "Plus Excess Wear & Use" line is over $800, but apparently you also pay tax on that amount, so the final balance due is more than $900 (and < $1000).

So... if the credit has already been applied, the wear came to roughly $1400 and was reduced to $900.

And in the unlikely case that the credit has not yet been applied, the amount due could yet go from $900+ to perhaps $400 (adjusting for the tax reduction).

ps. I agree with you Leftie about the paint! I'm very upset about this and will do what I can... (Thank you, SalSam for the suggestions, many of which I hope to use.)



I've leased two cars in the past; one I simply turned in and one I bought at lease end so that one doesn't count here --- the one I dropped off, had much lower miles than what was allowed but had been hit and fixed but the 'pre-inspection' aspect went fine ... deposit returned to me, etc. That one was on a Mazda Miata so another Japanese brand car; I think at the time they were actually more strict on damage, etc. but the car did look pretty good, Mazda sent their own lease return inspector and walked around several times in bright sunlight looking at the car, etc. but no surprises. I ended up not buying it because it was a non-metallic red so was concerned with irregular fading that typically occurs (eventually) with body repaired red cars as well as the repair was just OK, not great, etc. --- could have complained more, but it was a Mazda-certified shop so go figure.

I will agree with others here though that the paint and thickness of the metal/aluminum, etc. used on our LEAF's is quite thin on both counts --- my wife was driving ours and it was hit by a grocery cart (I wasn't there but definitely looks like what happened) and it dented the passenger fender right along the fender crease; nothing too nasty, but did leave a dent probably about 1 to 2 inches in length and scratched the paint off -- the shop that I use which does excellent work says it was actually in a 'good' spot that's easy to blend, etc. but it will run a little under $500 to fix ... you get a few of these and I can see it running into a thousand or more. To save fuel (supposedly) as well as costs to build, etc. a lot of the mfg. do this but probably more so with the LEAF. I do plan on keeping up with scratches, etc. as I'd like to keep it so its the price one pays ---- you'll also run into this when renting cars and they try to stick you with the previous renter's dents, etc. --- I always take date/time stamped photos with my smart phone now and note the minor stuff up front before taking the keys, its just the times we live in.

It's a shame how you're describing what happened when you turned in the car; the only recourse might have been to take it to your own body shop first as some stuff can indeed get buffed out or dents popped out, etc.; depends on the make and model but I've seen wonders. If they still give you that option may be worth it --- if its simply a 'pay up' then start squawking as others have said, can't hurt
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OrientExpress
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Re: Excessive wear bill from Nissan (any recourse?)

Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:32 pm

Were you with the inspector when he looked at the car, or did you just turn it in?

This is a good lesson for turning in a leased car. To be sure that you don't get surprises like this situation:

1. Set up and schedule the lease pre-turn-in inspection with Nissan yourself, and be there with the person as they do the inspection. You'll need to contact the Alliance Inspection Management Center at 800.253.9026. This is the 3rd party that does Nissan's lease return inspections.
2. Go over the inspectors findings with him and have him show you the damage and excessive wear items that he found.
3. Make sure that you get a copy of the inspection report.
4. When you turn in the car, make sure that you do the walk around with the dealer person that is accepting back the car, and make sure you get a copy of that turn-in inspection, and that you agree with those findings as well.

It is not uncommon that after a car is turned in, it gets damaged in transit to the reconditioning or auction site. Having both the initial and turn-in inspection reports will help you fight a situation like this if it happens to you.

But for now, it is important that you get a copy of the initial and the turn-in inspection reports to see if the alleged excessive wear is noted there, if it is not, then you have a case, but if it is, then this could be an expensive lesson in how to properly turn in a lease vehicle.

Here is the official Nissan wear and tear PDF guide which is available online in your Nissan lease account: Nissan/Infiniti Lease wear and tear guide
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mbender
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Re: Excessive wear bill from Nissan (any recourse?)

Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:51 pm

Quick follow-up on this. Just yesterday I received the itemized list of repairs that I had requested before I paid a cent. It took a bit of head-scratching, but I think this is what it boils down to (and there may be good news at the end of the tunnel):

A bunch of small scratches were "touched up", "wet sanded", "refinished" or "repaired", but they were all listed under the NON CHARGEABLE (Normal Wear & Tear) section.

Then under the CHARGEABLE (Excess Wear and Tear) section were three items totaling $359.00, and then one (still mysterious) item listed as Missing/Replacement Req/Replace. The 'Part Description' is
Drive Battery Charging C
296M1-3NA0A

and the price listed (being charged to me) for that is ... ... ... $1,028.30*

So... does anyone know what that part is? (The description got cut off at the end 'C' above.) I don't, but I have a hunch about what it might be and what happened. Which is, when I returned the 2012, I left my 110V charger that came with it at home and just gave the brand new one that came with the 2015 to the dealer, specifically telling the salesman (or men) to put IT in the 2012 instead of the old used one.

I am guessing that the new unit from the 2015, still shiny and in its bag, never got placed back into the 2012, and I am being charged $1000 for its replacement with a new EVSE.

---> Ok, I just found the part number online and that is what it refers to, and thus the above is quite likely what happened.

So now I am soliciting advice on what to do next. Yes, I should have watched them place the new one from the 2015 in my old 2012, but I didn't. I assumed it was a simple enough request and that I was actually doing them and the new buyer a favor by "donating" a brand new EVSE to the two-year-old car. There's got to be a simple way to clear this up, but I thought I'd get some input here before contacting the dealer (Boardwalk in Redwood City, ahem) or Nissan Finance.

Thanks for any thoughts. Hopefully this will all be a memory soon.

* $1,028.30 for the 110V EVSE?!?!? Even the $764 here seems like a lot!
I think I just felt my paradigm shift.

2012 SL (One of the colors): 2-year lease, 2012+,
2015 S w/QC (A different color): 3-year lease, 2014+,
2017 SV (Same color as 2015 S): 3-year lease, 2017+, lower monthly than either above(!)

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