Who Wants To Forge Their Car's History?
Hat tip to reader Alexander who sent us a link to a comprehensive 1991 BMW 325ic’s service history offered up on eBay because someone just probably wants them for the “novelty.”
The items reportedly include purchase paperwork and dealer maintenance records for an Alpine White, automatic convertible built around April 1991. Paperwork from Hawaii, Washington and California is included in the mildly suspicious auction lot listed with a Washington location.
“I want to frame those oil change receipts and hang them on my walls,” said nobody browsing this eBay listing.
We called attorneys general for New York, Washington and Colorado to see if misrepresenting your car’s service history was explicitly illegal and haven’t heard back. We also reached out to the Department of Justice and Department of Transportation to hear their takes.
It’s possible that phony service records wouldn’t be against the law in the same way as rolling back an odometer, but opinions seem to vary.
(Surely, if you pick up some junker BMW 325ic with a pristine service history and the whole thing blows up in your face, there’s gotta be a rule for that, right?)
Speaking with a few attorneys, we heard it could be easily proven fraudulent to pass these records off as legitimate paperwork for a car in which they don’t belong in a common law sense, but likely only if the service records were presented as belonging to that specific car.
Rick Wynkoop, a Colorado-based attorney, said selling the documents online isn’t against the law, but passing them off as belonging to a car that they don’t probably is. Wynkoop suggested something more sinister afoot — perhaps some VIN smudging — but phony service records was new to him.
“I can’t imagine there’s enough juice there to squeeze,” he said regarding a seller’s ability to use the paperwork in a private transaction.
Either way, it’s very definitely slimy.
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