Miami, FL car dealer charged with rolling back odometer

According to news reports, Miami-Dade police recently arrested a used car dealer and charged him with rolling back the odometer on a used 2101 Mazda CX9, erasing more than 81,000 miles.

Electronic odometers were supposed to make it harder for car dealers to cheat used car buyers by lopping miles off odometers. But the switch to electronic odometers just spawned a black market in odometer-tampering tools that are cheap and easy to buy online.

The multi-billion $$ fraud continues to plague used car buyers. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy for crooked car dealers to engage in odometer fraud, with little fear of getting caught.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is tasked with policing odometer fraud, but the agency is chronically understaffed and under-funded, and seldom acts unless they find a widespread pattern of illegal rollbacks.

One of the worst impacts of odometer fraud: victims of the illegal practice often end up having to pay out of pocket for expensive, unanticipated repairs that can leave them deep in debt or without a car.

A double whammy — even if you buy an extended service contract, they usually exclude coverage for vehicles with altered odometers.

How can you avoid falling prey to crooked car dealers who alter odometers? Check out CARS’ tips for how to get a good deal on a safe, reliable used car, without having to set foot on a car dealer’s lot.

Read more: Miami Herald: “Miami car dealer rolled back 81,000 miles off odometer, cops say”

FTC: Car dealer ripped off consumers in Arizona and New Mexico– many members of the Navajo Nation

The FTC announced today that the agency has” reached an agreement with Richard Berry, the owner and manager of a group of bankrupt auto dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico, to resolve charges that he and the dealerships deceived consumers and falsified information on vehicle financing applications. Many of the affected consumers were members of the Navajo Nation.”

According to Samuel Levine, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, “When Berry’s auto dealerships falsified income and down payment information to qualify people for loans they couldn’t afford to pay back, they set people up for failure – including default, repossession, and ruined credit. That’s why the FTC sued Berry and his dealerships.”

In a news release, the FTC stated the following:

The FTC reached an earlier settlement with the four dealerships: Tate’s Auto Center of Winslow, Tate’s Automotive, Tate Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, and Tate’s Auto Center of Gallup. If approved by the district court, the present settlement against Berry, would result in a $450,000 payment to the FTC and conclude the FTC’s case.

The FTC’s complaint, filed in August 2018, alleged that the defendants falsified consumers’ income and down payment information to get vehicles financed and engaged in unlawful advertising. In an earlier ruling in the case, the judge found that the defendants violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) by failing to disclose legally required information in their advertisements.

In addition to the $450,000 payment, the proposed settlement prohibits Berry from misrepresenting information in documents associated with a consumer’s purchase, financing, or leasing of a motor vehicle, and misrepresenting the costs or any other material fact related to vehicle financing. The proposed order also requires Berry to provide consumers sufficient time to review and obtain a copy of the relevant vehicle financing documents and prohibits him from violating the TILA and CLA.”

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Car dealers are notorious for targeting people of color — including indigenous Americans, recent immigrants, and others they consider vulnerable — and cheating them, causing severe hardship and sometimes homelessness when their victims lose their only means of transportation to work / schooling / child care / medical care.

How can you avoid falling prey to a predatory auto dealer?  Don’t even go there. Here are CARS’ tips for how to navigate the private market, and avoid the headaches and heartaches of buying at a “stealership.”

“Arizona Auto Dealer Arrested, Charged with Fraud”

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A Tempe used car dealer arrested Wednesday is facing multiple charges of theft and fraud, accused of cheating clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Detectives with the Arizona Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General say Farhad Kankash, owner of Onyx Motorsports, allegedly committed fraud against both customers and lenders.

ADOT officials say Kankash had allegedly committed several types of fraud, including failing to provide titles to customers who purchased vehicles, not paying off liens on trade-in vehicles, and defrauding lenders by obtaining multiple loans for the same vehicle.”

Want to avoid being ripped off and having your life ruined by a greedy, sleazy car dealer? Here’s how to get a good deal on a safe, reliable used car without having to set foot on a car dealer’s lot:

12 Top Tips from auto consumer experts– step-by-step How to Buy a Used Car

Read more: AZFamily.com:  Arizona Auto Dealer Arrested, Charged with Fraud

Federal Judge warns children not to buy from CarMax

During a hearing before the U.S. Federal District Court in Pasadena, California, Federal Judge Wardlaw tells CarMax’s attorney, “I have to tell you, having read what CarMax does, I have told both my children, don’t you buy a ‘certified’ car from CarMax.”

Watch video: Judge warns children about CarMax

Did CarMax sell you an unsafe recalled car?  We want to hear your story.  The only way to get CarMax to stop selling cars with lethal safety defects is for courageous consumers to speak up.  Contact us at:

http://carconsumers.org/contact.htm

 

Don’t become a victim of identify theft when you shop for a car

Imagine handing over your personal financial information, including your home address, Social Security number, birth date, and amount you earn each month, to a dealership finance manager who just happens to have a history of engaging in identity theft. Creepy, no?

Unfortunately, some dealers fail to do even basic background checks of prospective employees. As a result, you may end up exposed to identity theft. The FTC has issued “Red Flag” rules aimed at curbing ID theft at auto dealerships, which is a step forward, but — they don’t have the staff or resources to police compliance.

Bottom line:  This is yet another reason to ALWAYS get your financing lined up with a reputable lender BEFORE you shop for a car.

Read more:

Yahoo News report: Could you be a victim of identity theft while shopping for a new car?

Orange County, CA District Attorney busts major new car dealership

KC TV 5: Car dealer facing ID theft charges

F & I  News: Tampa dealer convicted of identity theft, other charges