1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Personal Property
  4. Article 9-A: Motor Vehicle Retail Leasing Act


Section 346 Penalties

Personal Property (PEP)

1. A lessee who has suffered a loss due to a violation of any provision of this article by a lessor or holder is entitled to recover his or her actual damages from the lessor or holder.

  2. Any lessor who fails to refund any payment made pending the execution of a retail lease agreement within the time required by subdivision one of section three hundred thirty-four of this article shall be liable to the lessee for twice the amount of the payment not refunded within the time required.

  3. Any lessor who fails to return a vehicle which the lessee left with the lessor pending the execution of a retail lease agreement, or who sells or transfers such a vehicle contrary to the provisions of subdivision three of section three hundred thirty-four of this article, shall be liable to the lessee for the value of the vehicle traded-in and all costs and expenses incurred by the lessee because of the loss of the vehicle.

  4. In an action in which it is determined that a lessor or holder has violated this article, the court shall award to the lessee a civil penalty of one hundred dollars.

  5. (a) In an action in which it is determined that a lessor or holder has violated this article, the court also shall award to the lessee the costs of the action and to his or her attorneys their reasonable fees. In determining the award of attorney's fees, the amount of the recovery on the behalf of the lessee is not controlling.

  (b) In an action for the recovery of an amount claimed for excess wear and tear, the court shall award to the lessee the costs of the action and to his or her attorneys their reasonable fees if the holder is awarded an amount less than an amount that the lessee offered, in writing and prior to the institution of the action, to pay in satisfaction of the contested portion of the amount claimed for excess wear and tear.

  6. A violation of subdivision fourteen of section three hundred thirty-seven of this article is a deceptive trade practice under section three hundred forty-nine of the general business law.

  7. Whenever there shall be a violation of this article an application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by the court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violations, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct restitution. Whenever the court shall determine in any such proceeding that a violation of this section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for each violation. In connection with any such proposed application the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.

  8. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, and except as provided in subdivisions two and three of this section, any failure to comply with the substantive provisions of this article may be corrected within sixty days after the holder is notified thereof in writing by the lessee or, in the absence of such notice, the lessor or holder may voluntarily correct any such failure to comply and, if so corrected, neither the lessor nor the holder shall be liable to a lessee for any penalty under this section. Within sixty days after discovering a violation of the disclosure provisions of this article, and prior to the institution of an action under this section or the receipt of written notice of the violation from the lessee, the lessor or holder may correct the disclosure violation and, if so corrected, neither the lessor nor the holder shall be subject to any penalty under this section.

  (b) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed so as to nullify or impair the right of the attorney general to proceed, under subdivision seven of this section or subdivision twelve of section sixty-three of the executive law, against a lessor or holder who has violated this article.

  9. A lessor or holder may not be held liable in an action brought under this article for a violation of this article that was unintentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error. Examples of a bona fide error include, but are not limited to, clerical, calculation, computer malfunction and programming, and printing errors, except that an error of legal judgment with respect to a person's obligations under this article is not a bona fide error.

  10. An action shall not be brought under this article more than four years after the occurrence of the act, method or practice which is the subject of the action or more than one year after the last payment in a transaction involving the method, act or practice which is the subject of the action, whichever is later.