By on February 28, 2017

Apple iOS in a Car + Ferrari LaFerrari

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.

“The development, distribution, and licensing of a device,” said David Brodie, Root’s lawyer, “which authorized and empowers Ferrari dealerships and technicians to perform illegal odometer rollbacks on Ferrari vehicles is patently irresponsible and brings into question the legitimacy of Ferrari odometer readings worldwide.”

The specific vehicle in Root’s case is a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari belonging to retired Sara Lee CEO C. Stephen McMillan. According to the lawsuit, the odometer on McMillan’s Ferrari was rolled back all the way to “0” and increased the value of the hypercar by $1 million.

McMillan allegedly approached the technician and offered him money under the table to perform the rollback for him. Root claims he was fired for objecting to the practice, though his employer cites arranging an odometer rollback as the reason for his firing. Ferrari of Palm Beach is part of New Country Motorcars Group.

The lawsuit claims that manuals published by the company exist that describe to technicians how to roll back a Ferrari odometer to “0.” The manuals allegedly date to as early as April 2010, and the litigant says he suspects rollbacks were performed on cars as recently as March 2015 at Ferrari’s factory in Italy.

Root has since been rehired by the Ferrari dealer, where he allegedly faces retaliation measures, but the practice of making odometers read a lower number of miles than the car has actually driven remains completely illegal. His claim creates an infinitely larger headache for Ferrari than any wrongful termination suit could.

[Source: Daily Mail] [Image: Ferrari N.V.]

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18 Comments on “Lawsuit Claims Ferrari Approved Odometer Rollbacks...”

  • avatar

    Just imagine how much easier it would have been for Matilda’s father (Mr. Wormwood) had he been a Ferrari dealer!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “My father loves this car more than life itself.”

    All Ferrari of Palm Beach needed was a bumper jack, and some patience.


    • 0 avatar

      Ahh…for the good old days when the sound of four or five high-speed electric motors mounted on a bench in the back room of the local BHPH could be faintly heard after walking through the front door…

  • avatar

    I think I understand why Jay Leno owns no Ferraris.

  • avatar

    Even before the mechanic got involved, McMillian didn’t think rolling back to 0.0 miles would be suspicious at all? Anyone buying a hyper-exclusive Ferrari might ask for some other proof the car has never driven.

    He must have been blinded by the prospect of a quick and easy $1M.

    Makes me wonder WHY he wanted to boost the value – was he going to sell it? Did he just need a quick increase in his assets on the books?

  • avatar

    This is why we can’t have nice things. And also why I buy all of my Ferraris new. ;)

    But seriously, it’s one of the reasons why I refuse to buy a used late model car, depreciation be damned.

  • avatar

    A buddy of mine did this on an ’86 Celebrity back in the day. Only then you’d just go get another cluster from the junkyard and swap it in. It was very easy. Raised the value by only a few hundred though, not $1 million.

    • 0 avatar

      Eurosport could put you in six figures but not quite seven :D

    • 0 avatar

      In my only case, I just swapped speedometers on a Volvo 240 (this actually raised the miles by 20-30k, dunno if it did anything to the value), something electrical died in the old one.

      Currently my P71 has a second cluster (which I was notified of by the dealer, the swap had been done during its fleet life), the swap took off 30k miles incidentally.

      The only time miles really drive me crazy are when people sell older 5-digit cars and say stuff like “Only 52,000 miles!”.

  • avatar
    Pete Skimmel

    Back in the day (early ’60s) dad and his co workers were GM factory service reps, ordered company cars, drove them about 3,000 miles then turned them in for sale as demos. These guys drove 2-3000 miles per month typically in their jobs calling on dealers in the sparsely populated Northwest.They could order company cars to spec for friends/family, to be purchased at healthy discounts as the 3,000 mile mark was reached. I remember a set-up in our garage when I was a kid where they attached a small motor to the end of the speedometer cable in the front wheel. This allowed them to ADD miles to the odometer. This meant they could get the new car to the friend/family member faster. It also helped them get out of a company car they didn’t like for some reason.

  • avatar

    They should hire VDO, their odometers always had a habit of “stopping” at 100k-130k, no matter which car they were installed in.

  • avatar

    On corporate level it is crazy, but on private level it happens all the time to pretty much any car with digital odometer. In Brooklyn it costs under $150 to have your leased car odometer to roll back by desired amount.

  • avatar

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m not buying a Ferrari.

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