2023 Odometer Fraud and Mileage Discrepancy Settlement
In August 2019, a Maryland resident unknowingly fell victim to odometer fraud and mileage discrepancy during their search for a trustworthy used vehicle, ultimately discovering a 2016 Ford Explorer advertised on a Maryland Nissan dealer’s website. With an odometer reading of 30,082 miles, the buyer decided to visit the dealership to further explore this option.
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Odometer Fraud and Mileage Discrepancy Not Disclosed During Purchase
Upon test-driving the vehicle and negotiating with the dealership, the buyer agreed to purchase the vehicle, making a $1,000 down payment and financing the remaining balance through a lender. The Maryland Nissan dealer provided a Retail Purchase Agreement, leaving the “Odometer Reading” section blank and neglecting to check the “Not Accurate” box.
The potential buyer had no way of knowing of the odometer fraud and mileage discrepancy that awaited his discovery years down the road.
Odometer Fraud Discovered During Trade-In Attempt
The buyer refinanced the loan through another lender in February 2021. Months later, in November, they attempted to trade in the vehicle at another local dealership, only to be informed that the odometer had been rolled back, reducing the vehicle’s value and rendering it largely unsellable.
While it may be surprising to some, odometer fraud is on the rise, likely due in part to the boom in used car prices during COVID, which created a huge incentive for dishonest sellers to rollback mileage to obtain illegal profits.
CarFax Reveals Mileage Discrepancy
The local dealership provided a CarFax report revealing mileage discrepancy dating back to June 7, 2019. Prior to that date, the CarFax reported an odometer reading of 37,797 miles; however, the reading later decreased to 30,775 miles.
The Maryland Nissan dealer did not disclose the odometer rollback, although the buyer believed that they were aware of that information at the time they sold the vehicle.
Confrontation and MVA Complaint Filing
The buyer confronted the Maryland Nissan dealer regarding the odometer discrepancy, and the dealership blamed the previous owner for tampering with the odometer. The Maryland Nissan dealer refused to repurchase the vehicle or accept responsibility. The buyer then filed a complaint with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
MVA Report Findings and Legal Violations
The MVA Report concluded that the Maryland Nissan dealer violated COMAR Regulation 11.12.01.19 A(1) &B for “Odometer Fraud.”The MVA Report stated that a diligent dealership should have been aware of the odometer discrepancy and disclosed it appropriately.
Consequences of the Maryland Nissan dealer’s Mileage Discrepancy
The customer called Whitney, LLP’s auto fraud lawyers for help with the odometer fraud and mileage discrepancy. Whitney, LLP was retained by the customer to recover compensation.
Our analysis of the case began with the fact that a used vehicle with unknown mileage and tampered odometer is significantly less desirable to consumers and holds a much lower value than an otherwise comparable vehicle with accurate mileage.
Lawsuit Filed for Odometer Fraud and Mileage Discrepancy
Whitney, LLP’s attorneys made efforts to resolve the case with the Maryland Nissan dealer prior to filing a lawsuit. However, our efforts were ignored, leaving no choice but to file a lawsuit against the Maryland Nissan dealer.
Shortly after filing the lawsuit, lawyers for the Maryland Nissan dealer contacted Whitney, LLP. Settlement discussions began.
We have found that it is usually necessary to file a lawsuit against a car dealer in order for any sort of reasonable settlement to take place.
Without filing a lawsuit, the consumer has almost no leverage to force the dealer to take responsibility for their actions. Once a lawsuit is filed, the dealer must hire its own attorneys and defend, or the consumer can seek a default judgment.
Compensation for Odometer Fraud and Mileage Discrepancy
After negotiations with counsel for the Maryland Nissan dealer, compensation was recovered for our client and the matter was settled. Compensation was recovered for:
- To cover the difference in what the vehicle is worth due to the odometer fraud and mileage discrepancy, and what it would be worth as a normal vehicle without those problems;
- Compensation for emotional distress of our client for the stress he felt as the result of being placed in this unpleasant position and sold the undesirable vehicle; and
- The Maryland Nissan dealer paid Whitney, LLP’s attorney’s fees.
Lawyer for Odometer Fraud and Mileage Discrepancy
If you purchased a vehicle in Maryland and need a lawyer for mileage discrepancy or odometer fraud, call Whitney, LLP. Whitney, LLP’s consumer attorneys have helped and represented hundreds of consumers in claims against almost all of the dealer groups in Maryland in a variety of claims involving vehicle sales, from false advertising, to missing features, forgery, illegal interest charges, fake CPO designations and odometer fraud.
We have experience suing car dealers and fighting for consumers’ rights and compensation.
We offer Legal Consultations.
Call Whitney, LLP at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case. Here is our YouTube Channel for more videos on car dealer legal issues. Prior results are not a guarantee of future results, and all cases are different.