Odometer fraud continues to be a crisis in the U.S., and car owners and dealers can take a real hit on their vehicles’ values. KPRC-TV in Houston on an independent dealer misreporting the actual mileage on used cars for sale on its lot. CARFAX Vehicle History Reports® shed light on the real condition of used cars on that lot for the KPRC-TV reporter – and for a car shopper.
Car shopper Chris Zimmerman and his wife had their third child and needed to buy an affordable minivan. They searched on Craigslist for a private party who was selling a reliable minivan with low miles. Zimmerman came across an ad from a man who claimed to be selling his wife’s van and only identified himself as Mike. The seller was offering a Honda Odyssey and stated that the vehicle had less than 80,000 miles on the odometer.
When Zimmerman met with Mike, the seller, he found out that the seller actually worked for Texans Motors Inc., which is located behind a strip club. Despite his concerns, Zimmerman purchased the van. His wife didn’t like the van, so they decided to resell it. When Zimmerman took the van to another dealership to sell, the staff person ran a CARFAX Vehicle History Report and told Zimmerman the van actually had 150,000 miles on it – almost double than what was on the odometer.
Zimmerman took the van back to Texans Motors Inc. to try to trade it for another vehicle. He found a van on the lot that said showed 115,000 miles on its odometer. This time, Zimmerman ran his own CARFAX report on his smartphone, which showed the van actually had 215,000 miles and that another odometer rollback had been done.
During its undercover investigative report, KPRC-TV found that Mike the salesman at Texans Motors knew all about the fraud. When the reporter identified himself on camera and explained what had been discovered looking at CARFAX Vehicle History Reports, Mike took off and ran away. The dealership owner wouldn’t talk to the reporter, and on Facebook said he would have to speak with the dealer’s attorney.
There are about 150,000 vehicles in the state of Texas with a likely odometer rollback – and it’s state with the second highest rate of odometer fraud in the nation, said Chris Basso, Public Relations Manager at CARFAX. “When you lower the mileage on a vehicle, you are artificially inflating the value of it and costing consumers thousands of dollars,” Basso said.
As a CARFAX Advantage® Dealer, you can run as many CARFAX Reports as you need to help avoid odometer fraud wherever and whenever you purchase vehicles. Plus, CARFAX Used Car Listings lets people on shop your inventory with the added peace of mind they won’t be another victim of this scam. Protect your business and your customers – become a CARFAX Advantage Dealer and get your inventory up on CARFAX Used Car Listings today by calling 888–788-7715.