How a Car Shopper Used a CARFAX Report to Uncover Odometer Fraud

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 has done an inves­tiga­tive report 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 carfax.com 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.

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