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Old 09-16-2020, 02:40 PM #16
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Odometer Fraud NHTSA
A written odometer declaration by seller not applicable to vehicles 10+ years old so NHTSA have no skin in this scam.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:07 PM #17
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I'm with Tim that you should not roll over and die on this. The guy scammed you and knows it, and you need to let him know that you know it and won't have it. So he "spent all the money already", huh? Well I bet a crook like that knows how to take out a title loan on his own car if he has to. You do NOT need to be the nice guy here.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:38 PM #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blarchitect View Post
Odometer Fraud NHTSA
A written odometer declaration by seller not applicable to vehicles 10+ years old so NHTSA have no skin in this scam.
This is what happens when you know a little tiny bit of the rules and selectively quote what you think bolsters your point.

The entire part you should have quoted reads "If the odometer mileage is incorrect, the law requires a statement to that effect to be furnished on the title to the buyer. However, vehicles 10 years old and older are exempt from the written disclosure requirements.

This does not mean that the odometer on a 10+ year old car can be rolled back.


Here is some information on odometer fraud.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:49 PM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUMTNEER View Post
Seller is saying he can't give me a refund because he's already spent the money on paying bills. This is what I expected. I reached out to the TN criminal investigation division to see where I go from here. DMV shows the dealer buying it at auction with the 262k miles, but no mileage from the sale to my seller as the truck is 10 or more years old. They don't have a bill of sale on record. My guess is I'd have to sue my seller and he'd have to countersue the dealer he bought it from, but I really don't want to go there. I guess I'll wait to hear back and report back here.
Keep in mind that I'm a dude on the internet, so your choices are your own. That being said, here are some things to think about: From several years in the legal field, I can tell you that you're right that it could be a real headache to go through legal means to sue, and may not be worth the sum that you lost. It does depend on a few factors, though.

If the seller was the one that rolled back the odo, it could be fairly simple in a lower court because of the small sum of money. Still takes time and money, though.

If the dealership was the one that did it, you'd have to start with your seller and then he'd likely have to go the route of a third party complaint against the dealer. Things could get really complex really quickly.

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With the sum of money involved the legal recourse option will likely be cost prohibitive. The Police/DMV route will be timely and frustrating. Not advocating violence, but hire a couple of guys from the gym or boxing club to act as your cousins and go visit the seller for a friendly chat re. monetary compensation. Blaming the dealer does sound like one heck of a lie. They have too much to lose for a few hundred bucks
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Well again, this guy saying he used the money to pay bills isn't your problem. Just tell the guy you want your damn money back and you don't give a shit where he gets the money. If you know where this guy lives, a little hint that things aren't going to end up well for him is maybe all you need to do. All you have to say to the guy when he keeps on repeating he can't give you a refund is, "You realize I know where you live. You're going to take this vehicle back and give me a full refund!" I'm not saying you hurt the guy or do any vandalism to his house but maybe putting a little fear into the douchebag will motivate him to do the right thing.
Assuming it was the private seller that did this, though street justice is very appealing, I'd also say that this isn't the best way to handle things. If the guy knows anything, he could take a text mentioning that you know where he lives as a threat or even a perceived threat and file for a restraining order. In contrast to you taking him to court, his route would be free to him and if granted, it could strip you of some of your rights like being able to own a gun. (I assume that's still a right in NC?)

I obviously can't legally suggest a specific route, but think about the option of going through NHTSA. Make sure to get some form of communication from them that they're taking action. Save it and show it to the guy. Tell him that if it was him, he's going to be in a world of felony hurt when they track it back to him. You'll probably find out pretty quickly whether it was him or not. He may just give you your money back. If he really didn't do it, then you both get to go after the dealership.

If it was the dealer: By law they have to have records on the sale. If the sale records to the private buyer show a lower odometer reading than the auction records, then the dealer is in for the hurt. I've seen a couple of small criminal dealerships go down this way.

If it was the private seller: The dealership would have records showing that the odo was correct at the time they sold it. To get things moving, you could even show the NHTSA printout to them and ask to see the sale records. That would clear them and make the evidence point to the private seller.

Either way, you will likely find out who the culprit is and can help the NHTSA with the investigation. Just remember that when doing things like showing the NHTSA paperwork and such, limit your in-person contact. People do stupid things when they're under pressure, especially when it's being threatened with a felony offense. Plus, doing things over the phone, text, or e-mail allow you to record (check your local laws for recording phone conversations first) interactions so you can submit them to the NHTSA.

Whatever you decide, good luck! I hope whomever is at fault gets their just dessert.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:09 PM #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
This is what happens when you know a little tiny bit of the rules and selectively quote what you think bolsters your point.

The entire part you should have quoted reads "However, vehicles 10 years old and older are exempt from the written disclosure requirements.
.
.
Which is exactly what I said. My point (and reading comprehension) has been further "bolstered" by your confirmation ie. 10+ years old vehicles DO NOT REQUIRE A WRITTEN DECLARATION BY SELLER. Therefore, in this instance (post #10) the OP has no recourse through the NHTSA.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:45 PM #21
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Try your local Better Business Bureau (BBB). They will contact the seller and ask to get it settled. If that doesn't work they will advice you to file a claim at your Attorney Generals Office. The filing process is simple and make sure you are genuine and have supporting documents. Most likely the seller will contact you to come to a settlement. If that don't work, you can file at the attorney generals office and they will take legal action against the seller. Seller for sure don't like that route.

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Old 09-16-2020, 05:11 PM #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blarchitect View Post
Which is exactly what I said. My point (and reading comprehension) has been further "bolstered" by your confirmation ie. 10+ years old vehicles DO NOT REQUIRE A WRITTEN DECLARATION BY SELLER. Therefore, in this instance (post #10) the OP has no recourse through the NHTSA.
All that means is that the seller isn't required to give a written disclosure if they know the odometer is incorrect for any reason which could include a legitimate reason such as a cluster replacement.

Just because the written statement isn't required doesn't mean that they won't be interested in the fraud. It may be more difficult to prove that the seller knew about it, but even that can be determined by going to the sales records and vehicle history to see if there is a point where the mileage jumps backwards and figure out who owned the car at that point.

Fraud is fraud, the 10 year limit for requiring a written statement doesn't mean that this isn't fraud. State motor vehicle departments and the NHTSA do tend to take odometer fraud very seriously.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:45 PM #23
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Originally Posted by Skulking View Post
All that means is that the seller isn't required to give a written disclosure if they know the odometer is incorrect for any reason which could include a legitimate reason such as a cluster replacement.

Just because the written statement isn't required doesn't mean that they won't be interested in the fraud. It may be more difficult to prove that the seller knew about it, but even that can be determined by going to the sales records and vehicle history to see if there is a point where the mileage jumps backwards and figure out who owned the car at that point.

Fraud is fraud, the 10 year limit for requiring a written statement doesn't mean that this isn't fraud. State motor vehicle departments and the NHTSA do tend to take odometer fraud very seriously.
Don't bother, some people just have to be right. It is the times we live in...
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:17 PM #24
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Iím curious. If you, or a mechanic, hooks a top of the line scan tool up to the OBD-ll port wont the computer tell the scan tool what the actual mileage is or no?
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:06 AM #25
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Iím curious. If you, or a mechanic, hooks a top of the line scan tool up to the OBD-ll port wont the computer tell the scan tool what the actual mileage is or no?
It would be great if onboard mileage data was truly read-only, but any data system (that was cost-effective at the time of mfg) can be F'd with.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:10 AM #26
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I bought a beautiful 1995 calypso blue 3000GT with tan leather interior, removable roof panel and only 93,000 miles on the odometer for $1,700. A couple of months later, the darn thing started smoking at stop lights so I decided to trade it in a truck at a local dealership....Dealer said they couldn't take it because the odometer was rolled back from 160,000 miles at least. Not once did it occur to me to go back to the seller I bought it from and try to intimidate them to get my money back. Maybe they knew, maybe they didn't? It was my fault for thinking I was getting a great car at a ridiculous low price. You may be in the opposite situation and paid a premium for something you feel was misrepresented. It's a sad part of life that we all can get taken at some point. Just try and do better next time.
P.S. I fully disclosed the odometer issue and smoking of the 3000GT, and ended up trading it straight across for a trashed out 1987 V8 Firebird.

This post made me think of this quote.

ďThe only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.ď

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Old 09-17-2020, 08:14 AM #27
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I filled out a form with the TN department of safety and Homeland security. I spoke to a SGT with the TN Highway Patrol last night. He's going to work the case, but told me the punishments for this type of crime are light. It's a class A misdemeanor and carries a $200 fine. He says he'll try to tack on felony larceny because of the value difference in the vehicle, but that's sometimes hard to stick. He says a lot of the time that these are settled between the parties before any court proceedings happen. I'm just hoping to somehow help someone down the line not get into this situation. I know I've learned my lesson. In the end, if nothing comes from it, I've still got a great 4runner that will likely last a good long while anyway. My son will be 16 in 4 years, so maybe he'll take it over then.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:13 AM #28
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I filled out a form with the TN department of safety and Homeland security. I spoke to a SGT with the TN Highway Patrol last night. He's going to work the case, but told me the punishments for this type of crime are light. It's a class A misdemeanor and carries a $200 fine. He says he'll try to tack on felony larceny because of the value difference in the vehicle, but that's sometimes hard to stick. He says a lot of the time that these are settled between the parties before any court proceedings happen. I'm just hoping to somehow help someone down the line not get into this situation. I know I've learned my lesson. In the end, if nothing comes from it, I've still got a great 4runner that will likely last a good long while anyway. My son will be 16 in 4 years, so maybe he'll take it over then.
I wonder what the max settlement could be in small claims court in Tennessee? You wouldn't even have to get a lawyer. Just simply show Judge Judy the facts of the case yourself which would be simple. The vehicle was advertised with much lower mileage than it actually had. Show the Car Fax proving the fraud that occurred. Then maybe show comparables of what 3rd Gens with the correct mileage are going for and how much more you paid based off the fraudulent mileage listed in the ad. Ask for reimbursement for what you feel the overpayment was. Teach this A-hole a lesson and don't let him off easy. If you don't, this dickhead will probably do it again to someone else.

Think of it this way. Any decent person wouldn't let you get screwed over like this. If his story about the dealership was true, and he was a decent guy, he would try to make it right. The fact that he just gave a lame excuse that he already spent all the money and said nothing about trying to make it right with you tells me this guy is a dirt bag. It's your money and your headache, but if it were me, I would not let this guy off easy.
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:46 PM #29
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I wonder what the max settlement could be in small claims court in Tennessee? You wouldn't even have to get a lawyer. Just simply show Judge Judy the facts of the case yourself which would be simple. The vehicle was advertised with much lower mileage than it actually had. Show the Car Fax proving the fraud that occurred. Then maybe show comparables of what 3rd Gens with the correct mileage are going for and how much more you paid based off the fraudulent mileage listed in the ad. Ask for reimbursement for what you feel the overpayment was. Teach this A-hole a lesson and don't let him off easy. If you don't, this dickhead will probably do it again to someone else.

Think of it this way. Any decent person wouldn't let you get screwed over like this. If his story about the dealership was true, and he was a decent guy, he would try to make it right. The fact that he just gave a lame excuse that he already spent all the money and said nothing about trying to make it right with you tells me this guy is a dirt bag. It's your money and your headache, but if it were me, I would not let this guy off easy.
Definitely agree with TIm here. I'm really glad you're doing something, because just taking the loss and not doing anything is just going to teach people that they can keep doing it. Not sure what small claims courts are like over there, but he's right that you could do it without an attorney, and you can even recoup court filing fees and such as part of a settlement. Hopefully the action you've already taken will spur whichever dirt bag is responsible to settle up before you have to put much more time into it.

Did you ever get anywhere with the NHTSA?

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Old 09-17-2020, 06:12 PM #30
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One question I am sure the investigator will look at. Has the seller sold other vehicles or was this a one time sale. Thinking that whomever rolled it back - it wasn't the first time. Not going to look but pretty sure I could find something on the interwebs on how to do it and pretty sure it takes some sort of specialized connection. Doubt someone will do all this for a single sale but I could be wrong.
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