Odometer Rollback Fraud On the Rise

Odometer rollbacks defraud American car buyers out of more than $10 billion every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA). By rolling back a used car’s odometer from, for example, 120,000 miles to 30,000 miles, the value of a used car is fraudulently inflated to thousands of dollars more. Victims of odometer fraud are robbed of at least $4,000 per vehicle from breaking down and subsequent repair work.

What is an odometer rollback? When a vehicle transfers owners, the previous owner must give the new owner a written odometer statement disclosing the vehicle’s true mileage at the time of transfer. An odometer rollback occurs where a dealer or private seller alters the mileage on the car’s odometer.

Here are three ways to check your car for odometer fraud. 

  1. Check out the wear and tear on the vehicle. Does the wear and tear match the mileage?
  2. Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic.
  3. Using the VIN number, obtain the vehicle history report from trusted database services such as:
    1. CARFAX Odometer Check
    2. AutoCheck
    3. National Motor Vehicle Title Information System

Fighting Odometer Fraud

Victims of consumer fraud have several legal claims due to federal and state odometer statutes.

Under the Federal Odometer Act, odometer fraud is a felony. Further, a victim of odometer fraud may collect up to $10,000 or treble damages of 3 times the actual damages, whichever is greater, plus attorney fees and court costs.

Under New York Gen. Bus. Law § 392-e, a seller of a vehicle is prohibited from (1) providing a false odometer disclosure statement upon transfer of a vehicle; (2) misrepresenting true mileage driven to a transferee by disconnecting or changing an odometer or causing an odometer to be disconnected or changed, so as to reduce the mileage indicated; (3) removing an odometer repair notice.

Act Now

If you are a victim of odometer fraud, the Kasell Law Firm may be able to help you obtain damages. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please email me at David@KasellLawFirm.com or call (718) 404-6668. I look forward to working with you!

This material may be viewed as attorney advertising and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author. This article strictly represents the personal views of the author on the date it was written and such views are subject to change without notice.

Texas Congressman violated conflict of interest laws by benefitting own car dealership, House Ethics panel finds

Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), a second-generation auto dealer, pushed legal changes allowing car dealerships to rent or loan cars with safety recalls. The House Ethics Committee found that Rep. Williams’ “personal financial interest in his auto dealership may be perceived as having influenced his performance of official duties.” The House rules state that members cannot use their influence for personal gain, financial or otherwise.

Read more about it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/08/11/house-ethics-panel-finds-substantial-reason-to-suspect-auto-dealer-congressman-of-conflict-of-interest/

Staten Island Dana Ford Lincoln Dealership Refuses to Repair or Honor Warranty for Defective Ford Focus

“Transmission Error-turn off car for 7 minutes.” $28,000 lease for defective Ford Focus that shuts down unexpectedly. Staten Island Dealership refuses to repair or honor warranty agreement.

The Kasell Law Firm has taken on the case against Ford Motors for full lease refund and damages.
Read more about it here: http://www.silive.com/…/04/lawsuit_si_psychic_claims_ford.h…

ON THE EVILS OF FORCED ARBITRATION…

Regardless of whether you love or hate Fox Fox News, this news could impact you.

Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, facing a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit is now trying to remove the case from court into private arbitration – away from the media and public eye. Gretchen Carlson, former Fox anchor, filed the sexual harassment suit against Ailes for his alleged requests for Carlson to turn around so he could observe her “posterior” and for her to “get along with the boys.”

The FOX CEO argues that Carlson does not have a right to a public trial, claiming a mandatory arbitration clause in Carlson’s contract stating that any employment dispute must be done confidentially, in arbitration. According to a 2011 study by Cornell University’s Alexander Colvin, employees in private arbitration proceedings have lower success rates and are awarded less money damages.

Whether in employment contracts or auto sale contracts, the danger of mandatory arbitration clauses is that our Constitutional right to trial is forcibly stripped away, our voice silenced and justice evaded. Read more about the case here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2016/07/09/roger-ailes-opts-for-secrecy-cowardice-in-face-of-gretchen-carlson-suit/

NACA Letter to Congress Urging Opposition to Financial Services Govt Funding Bill

Today, American financial consumers are at high risk of losing their legal right to bring class-action lawsuits against financial institutions. Last week, Congress passed a bill that excuses abusive business practices of banks, credit card companies, and lenders, avoiding accountability and allowing the same financial institutions to continue the predatory practice of blocking groups of customers from suing them in court. To restore the right of consumers to challenge the deceitful behavior of powerful corporations, members of Congress must oppose the Appropriations Financial Services Bill of 2017 fiscal year.

The Kasell Law Firm joins with the National Association of Consumer Advocates in urging members of Congress to vote in favor of the amendment, sponsored by House Representative Keith Ellison and Hank Johnson, to allow funding to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s authority  to issue rules that regulate and prevent financial institutions from using mandatory forced arbitration clauses in their consumer contracts.

The Kasell Law Firm is a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

The 2 Disclosures Used Car Dealerships Must Provide To Consumers

Used car sales are projected to rise in 2016, so is the possibility of deceptive auto sales and car dealership fraud. The danger of buying a used car is that it could have unfixed safety recalls that the dealership fails to disclose or a dealer failing to inform a consumer that the used car they just bought was once a taxicab. Luckily, New York  protects used car buyers from dealership fraud through laws designed to punish dealerships for preying on consumers. Here are: The 2 Disclosures Dealerships Must Provide to Used Car Consumers.

  1. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 417-a, dealers must provide buyers with a written certificate of prior use if the used car was once a:
    1. Taxicab;
    2. Rental car;
    3. Police car; OR
    4. Driver education vehicle.
  2. Dealerships must provide buyers with a written certificate of nonconformity from the manufacturer or dealer if the used car was previously returned to a manufacturer or dealer for nonconformity to its warranty and the defect or condition was not fixed within a reasonable time as provided by New York Law.

Dealership Violation
The dealership violates New York Law if (1) the car dealer fails to provide the written certificates to a used car buyer or (2) provides used cars buyers with a document that has false or misleading information on it.

Remedy
If the dealership is found to violate NY V&T 417-a, consumers may bring an action to recover a judgment three times the actual damages suffered by the consumer or one hundred dollars, whichever is greater. Courts may also award reasonable attorneys’ fees to the consumer if the consumer’s action is successful.

Protect Yourself from Lemon Cars
The bottom line is, cars are a big life investment and fighting for your rights can be complicated.  Make sure you get everything in writing and keep all of the documents from the deal.  If something doesn’t make sense, have the dealership explain it.  If you think you are being taken advantage of or if the car is having problems that just don’t seem right for a car you just bought, contact a lawyer because you may be able to do something about it.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please email me at David@KasellLawFirm.com or call (718) 404-6668. I look forward to working with you!

This material may be viewed as attorney advertising and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author. This article strictly represents the personal views of the author on the date it was written and such views are subject to change without notice.