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BMW Financial Services Increases Acquisition Fee For Lease Customers In New York State

July 8, 2003

BMW Financial Services NA, LLC says it has affirmed its commitment to its automotive leasing customers and dealers in New York at a time when other leasing companies are withdrawing from the market. The company will continue to offer lease products, however it will increase its acquisition fee for leases on vehicles garaged in that state effective August 1, 2003 to offset increased costs associated with an outdated law known as "vicarious liability."

"We're disappointed that the New York Assembly has failed to change this outdated law," John Christman, head of BMW Financial Services NA, LLC, said. "We regret having to take this action, but our cost of doing business in New York continues to be more expensive for us than in other states. We have looked at several options and determined that the one that is most equitable for our customers and dealers is to raise this one-time fee to help cover our increased expenses."

Other finance companies have opted to exit the leasing business or develop more costly alternatives, Christman explained. "New York consumers are being penalized by this law and we wanted a solution that would be in the best interests of our customers."

The acquisition fee will increase from $525 to a maximum of $1,000 for vehicles garaged in New York-the only state remaining with a "vicarious liability" law. Similar laws were changed in Connecticut and Rhode Island during the legislative session that just closed.

According to the company, Vicarious liability laws permit an accident victim to sue the owner of a vehicle for damages no matter who was driving. With a vehicle lease, the leasing company's name is on the title and is held liable for accidents involving their leasing customers.

About BMW Financial Services

BMW Financial Services NA, LLC was established in 1992 as a captive finance company to support the sales and marketing efforts of the BMW Group in North and Latin America.

With more than $12 billion in managed assets and nearly 400,000 customers, BMW FS leases or finances more than half of the new BMW vehicles sold in the U.S.

BMW FS employs about 450 people, most of whom are located in the Dublin, Ohio Customer Service Center.

BMW Financial Services provides a wide range of leasing, retail, commercial, banking and insurance products tailored to meet the needs of BMW customers and dealers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

All lease servicing, including credit underwriting, funding, customer service, title administration, lease-end and collections are handled at the Dublin customer service center. A growing portfolio of banking, credit card and insurance offerings is also available through the BMW Bank of North America.

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