I had a conversation with someone the other day who claimed his mechanic rolled back the odometer on his car. This is a late-model car with a digital odometer. I always thought digital odometers were protected from this, but a quick Google search reveals that it’s actually quite common and easy to roll back a digital odometer. I guess this is now something a buyer has to worry about on top of everything else when buying a used car.
For example, how could you ever tell a car was rolled back — say, 10,000 miles — when the car is legitimately in good condition?
What are your thoughts on this? And how can a buyer protect themselves?
Former Ferrari salesman Robert “Bud” Root is suing Ferrari of Palm Beach for wrongful dismissal, alleging the dealer fired him after he discovered that a Ferrari DEIS tool was being used to roll back odometers. He also claims discrimination due to his old age.
Root’s claim states that Ferrari’s Italian headquarters has been producing and distributing these devices to dealerships worldwide. It also says that Ferrari must give authorization every time one of the tools is used — a potentially damaging allegation for the supercar manufacturer.
Here’s something I’ve been wondering: Why did odometers typically read only to 100,000 miles until fairly recently? Was that the maximum cars could possibly last when the practice began? Was it marketing — “100,000 miles, need a new car”? Is it something else? Durability expectations were certainly raised when Volvo added another digit, and with good reason. Two hundred thousand miles or more now seems to be feasible for many cars, with others known for exceeding that.
The odometer limitation certainly creates lots of doubt in the market for older vehicles. 50,000, 150,000, or even 250,000 miles are possibilities for a given vehicle.
On a related note, why are dealers so committed to ensuring no owner documents are provided with a used car? Even when buying an obviously well-maintained car at a reputable dealer, all I got was a whispered, “The timing belt has been changed.”
Owners of some Toyota cars in Canada say that the Japanese automaker is asking them to foot the bill for replacement odometers due to a glitch that won’t allow the gauges to roll over after 299,999 kilometers, CTV is reporting (via AutoFocus).
The glitchy odometers are found in 2003-2008 Toyota Matrix and Corolla models, and some 2004 and 2005 Toyota Prius models.
There are a few videos on YouTube of people expecting to hit 300,000, but they never do.
It appears that you have picked up where Steve Lang left off. That is answering general automotive questions that puzzle automotive enthusiast.
My question, what average speed would be good or bad for a used vehicle? I am in the market for a used truck (3-6yrs old), and have noticed that these newer trucks have mileage and hours tracked in the dash display screen. It is easy math to calculate the average speed for the life of the vehicle. What should I look for?
I recently stood on the showroom floor of a Los Angeles-area luxury car dealership as their sales manager pointed out a middle-aged couple browsing the lot. “We will never sell them a car,” he said. “In fact, we are going to politely ask them to leave.” Why? “One of our salespeople recognized them. They are professional Lemon Law scammers. They have hit two other dealers but they are not going to hit us.” (Read More…)