Latest automotive scandal puts Maranello under scrutiny

"Dieselgate" is arguably the largest scandal that hit the automotive industry since the engine-powered car was invented, but it’s not the only one. Recently, Suzuki and Mitsubishi admitted that they cheated on fuel economy ratings, while a report uncovered that German automakers Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz tested diesel engines on monkeys caged in gas chambers. Now, a higher profile automaker joined the list of companies that cheated their customers: Ferrari. Specifically, the Maranello-based brand allowed its dealers to roll back odometers on used cars, a scandal uncovered by a lawsuit from a longtime Ferrari salesperson.

The lawsuit was filed in Palm Beach, Florida last year by Robert "Bud" Root, and accused Ferrari of authorizing the use of a diagnostic tool to roll back customer’s odometers so that they can sell their cars for higher prices. Root, who claims that Ferrari fired him for both age discrimination reasons and for unveiling the odometer rollbacks, said that the rollback scheme was systematic, as the use of Ferrari’s DEIS Tester required online authorization from the Italian company. The lawsuit also included references to a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari owned by Stephen McMillian, which had its odometer rolled back to zero in 2015.

Continue reading for the full story.

New Evidence

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 685812
The memo makes reference to the DEIS Tester tool used for various servicing needs, but also mentions that it was capable of resetting the odometer all the way back to zero

Although Ferrari didn’t confirm the accusations back then, a new report by the Daily Mail claims there’s evidence that Maranello was aware of what was happening and approved it. The evidence lies in a memo from April 2017 that was filed in court in February 2018, thus becoming publicly available in Root’s lawsuit. The memo makes reference to the DEIS Tester tool used for various servicing needs, but also mentions that it was capable of resetting the odometer all the way back to zero. What’s more, it confirms what Root’said, that the rollback cannot be made by the dealer without online authorization from Ferrari.

Enhancing the Value of Used Ferraris?

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari Exterior AutoShow
- image 496634
Not only resetting odometers is illegal, but it also has a big impact on the value of used cars.

While the memo was actually issued to announce an update that removed the ability for the tester to reset the odometer, it’s proof that Ferrari allowed dealers to do it. And, this is a big deal! Not only resetting odometers is illegal, but it also has a big impact on the value of used cars. In this case, used Ferraris are worth significantly more if they have less mileage. And, depending on the model, the value could grow by hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not even more than $1 million. In short, Ferrari is cheating its customers by enhancing the value of its used cars.

All told, the value of all used Ferraris that had a DEIS Tester-compatible odometer is now questionable and could trigger some lawsuits.

It’s worth noting that Ferrari claims in its email statement to the Daily Mail that it did nothing illegal and that the memo wasn’t related to the lawsuit. It also claims that the device didn’t work for cars that have over 311 miles on the odo. However, it remains to be seen how the authorities will react to this unveiling. Stay tuned for updates.

References

no article
- image 742470

Read more Ferrari news.

Ferrari Allowed Dealers to Roll Back Odometers on Used Cars Exterior AutoShow
- image 495570

Read our full review on the 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari.

Source: Daily Mail

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: