March 26, 2004

Chrysler will no longer offer leases in New York state

Farmington Hills, Michigan – Chrysler Financial announced it will no longer offer leasing in the state of New York beginning May 1, 2004. According to Chrysler, New York remains the only state in the U.S. with antiquated unlimited lessor vicarious liability law.

Under the existing law in New York the “owner” of a motor vehicle is responsible for personal injury and property damage caused by the driver of a leased vehicle, regardless of any fault or responsibility of the leasing company. With leasing, the finance company holds the title to the vehicle and therefore has significant exposure under the existing vicarious liability statutes.

“The current legislative environment in New York has forced us to exit based on the significant financial exposure we risk if we continue to offer leasing in this market,” said Klaus Entenmann, Vice President – Chrysler Financial. “Chrysler Financial has made every effort, along with the New York State Automotive Dealers Association and the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers, to encourage changing legislation in the state of New York to no avail,” said Entenmann.

While leasing will cease to be an option available for customers in New York, Chrysler Financial may reenter the leasing market if meaningful reform is forthcoming from the New York legislature.

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