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We received a letter from VW of America describing some end-of-lease terms I don't recall when we leased our 2004 VW Touareg almost 4 years ago. Even though it has been in their shop about 20 times for warranty work and what not, they are claiming that at turn-in time, they get to do a full-on vehicle inspection plus any work they deem necessary and then that they can take up to four weeks to send us a "final" bill for the work. We are about 20,000 miles under what was allowed. Even though by many standards I would have considered the vehicle a legal "lemon" (the front tires were replaced three times in just over 3 years), this seems quite arbitrary for them to claim they have this right. Is this even legal? Shouldn't the "certification" of a used vehicle for re-sale be the dealer

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Burnam Eubank, Dealer Principle at Palmetto Jaguar Lee, I don*t have the VW franchise but I can give you a general idea of what you can be charged for at lease end...tires(must have some tread left on them), scratches, dents, torn upholstery, cigarette burns in upholstery, missing keys or owners manuals, cd magazines, navigation discs, floor mats, stars or cracks in the windshield....and usually there is a termination fee that would have been on your lease contract...If the bill seems excessive or the items petty call VW credit and try to get the charges reduced. These aren*t dealership charges...all of the charges are from the leasing company...I*m assuming VW credit. Good Luck!

Jenny Trostel, Partner at Anderson of Hunt Valley Your vehicle will need to be inspected by the leasing company when you turn it in. When you signed the lease agreement, you agreed to maintain the vehicle properly. This includes brakes, tires and routine maintenance along with the interior and exterior of the vehicle. For example, if you had a minor accident and you did not have the repair completed, you will be charged for the repair. Check you lease agreement about the inspection at lease turn in. All leased vehicles are inspected before they are turned in. This is not a punishment for not leasing another VW, it is part of the legal agreement that you signed when you leased the car. Ask for a copy of the inspection report. If you are below mileage for the lease, you may be eligible for a refund for be under on the miles. Check your lease agreement for details. If the car is in good condition, you have nothing to worry about. Good Luck!

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