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My stepmom mistakenly signed ‘one-sided 4-year lease’ at car dealer – it’s $4.5k to return but sale couldn’t be stopped

FAMILY members have spoken out after a woman was told it would cost her $4,500 to return a car she drove one time.

Grace Gangemi, a 92-year-old woman wearing a boot from a recent Achilles injury, purchased a brand new Nissan Versa. The dealership said no road law could stop her from buying the car.

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A dealership signed a 4-year lease – family members are speaking out about the deal[/caption]

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A woman leased a 2024 Nissan Versa[/caption]

Gangemi told family members that she would never purchase a car again, according to The Boston Globe.

She had recently gotten into a small accident with her 2019 Nissan Sentra. The family was relieved to see her willingness to get off the road.

At the time, the Sentra had one month left on the lease.

After visiting Nucar Nissan in Massachusetts, she surprisingly entered a new carcontract. She drove the new vehicle four miles back to her home in an assisted living retirement community.

She confided in Michael Gangemi, her stepson. He said she told him, “I did something I shouldn’t have done.”

The stepmother brought the car home after inking a 4-year lease. It was set to cost $420 a month.

“Shouldn’t the dealership have asked her, ‘Are you capable of driving?’ and ‘Can we just check with a family member?’” the stepson asked.

He said the lease deal was “totally one-sided.”

Michael pointed out that his stepmom was wearing a boot on her right foot, the one used for the gas and brake.

Nucar Nissan addressed concerns about leasing a car in statements to The U.S. Sun, emphasizing their commitment to a customer’s privacy rights.


“At Nucar Nissan, we prioritize the autonomy and dignity of all our customers, regardless of age,” the dealership told The U.S. Sun.

“Our responsibility as a dealership is to respect the legal rights and autonomy of our customers. There were no grounds for us to question Ms. Gangemi’s ability to drive based on her age or any physical ailment, and doing so without cause could be considered discriminatory.”

The dealership acknowledged it knew about the woman’s age. Massachusetts State law requires companies to check drivers licenses before new vehicle sales.

But the dealership noted Massachusetts’ self-reporting policy on medical conditions affecting driving and said that the driver didn’t discuss any ailments.

Michael said his stepmother was independent and mentally acute during the purchase, according to The Globe.

However, her health was rapidly declining.

Grace suffered a fall in June. Doctors discovered she had a brain tumor while operating.

Expert Advice on Leasing a Car

Ray and Zach Shefska, the father-son duo making up CarEdge, spoke to The U.S. Sun Motors Reporter Kristen Brown in an exclusive interview on their top tips before signing a lease agreement on a new car.

Leasing a car can be a more viable option for some instead of financing with an auto loan.

Leasing a car for 24 to 36 months can be attractive to many because monthly payments are typically lower than loan payments, though there are some restrictions, like mileage allowances.

At the end of a lease, people can either buy the vehicle out at a reduced price, or they can return the vehicle to the dealership and lease another car.

Before jumping into a lease, Ray gave his top tips to consider, stemming from his 40 years of experience as a sales manager for several dealerships:

  1. Learn the interest portion of the lease – or the “money factor” – to understand how much interest you’ll be paying and how much it equates to overall.
  2. Negotiate the selling price before discussing the monthly payments – the cheaper the selling price of the car, the cheaper the payments.
  3. Accept the premise that you will always have to make a payment, so you can either have a nice car for a cheaper payment, or a lesser car for a higher payment.

Read more here.

She passed away in late June 2024, one month after bringing the car home.

Now, her family is grappling with the car and subsequent fees from the return.

The dealership quoted Michael $4,587 to terminate the contract, a standard 20% fee imposed on an early exit from a vehicle lease agreement.

The car had only driven the one time from the dealership to the woman’s home.

Nucar Nissan told The U.S. Sun is was in contact with the family.

“When Ms. Gangemi’s family expressed concerns after the lease was signed, we engaged in discussions with them to address their issues. We strive to balance business considerations with compassion and fairness, and we remain open to resolving disputes amicably,” the dealership told The U.S. Sun.

“We also recognize that hindsight may bring new perspectives, and we are committed to continually improving our practices to better serve all members of our community.”

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