Q: Seller did not fully disclose mileage despite claiming original miles.
I recently purchased a vehicle which was listed as "125k original miles."
I found a service document listing this vehicle at 161,422 miles on 7/20/17. The VIN and license number match. However, the gauge cluster reads 125k miles. Because of the increase in miles, there is a substantial amount of increased maintenance required due to the increased mileage that the seller did not disclose during sale.
Please advise, as the seller has not been responding.
Seller has committed (LIKELY) a crime, as rolling back an odometer is a federal crime.
If for instance, the prior repair order is in seller's name, you have proof he KNEW of the rollback.
You cannot THREATEN to report the seller, you can only report him/her or not report.
I would, at a minimum, ask the DMW to look into this.
Perhaps the FBI as well, even though they are busy.
IF it was a CAR DEALER then you should be in touch with an attorney.
Dear auto purchaser,
Federal statutes were enacted to protect consumers from odometer fraud. For the reasons you mention and others, misrepresenting the actual mileage of a used vehicle can cause serious problems. You should contact a competent attorney who has a specialized consumer law practice.
The problem in your lap (or under your hood) is that you were defrauded in the purchase of this vehicle by the seller. You apparently have good evidence that he knew the actual mileage. You need to recover money to pay for the difference. Your best bet is a lawsuit for fraud (which allows punitive damages in a case like this) and if you are asking for less than $10,000, you can go to small claims. If this was a dealer, I would get an attorney and not go to small claims because the attorney can probably get you more money. Take photos of the odometer right away, find and keep a copy of the ad listing the car at 125k.
So, a lot depends on how much you paid for this car. If this was a Tercel and you paid $1500 for it, you are definitely in small claims, but if this was a Land Rover and you paid $15, $18 or $20k, you can recover more money. There would be two ways to value your damages, and you can use one or both, first - what was the value of the car at the actual mileage, you should research this and have 4-5 examples for the Court to consider. Get a KBB value at the different mileages. Second, since you are now 30k miles closer to a major service, how much is that service, or in other words, what is your increased cost of maintenance on this higher mileage vehicle.
You can ask the court to award punitive damages to you, which would be a multiple of your actual damages, not to exceed ten times the actual.
The most critical parts to win this case are 2 things: 1. proving the owner had actual knowledge of the mileage when they sold the car to you with a fraudulent mileage amount, and 2. proving the dollar amount of your damages. I have discussed both above.
All this business about reporting to the police or to the FBI does not put any money into your pocket for paying too much for a higher mileage car. Hey, you are not a District Attorney, you are not trying to prosecute someone for a crime, (as frustrating as they are) you are trying to get money back for something you overpaid for or would never have bought in the first place, because of the fraud put on you.
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