A former licensed motor car trader has been convicted and fined $28,000 for odometer tampering and other offences likely to deceive customers.
Drives (Aus) Pty Ltd (ACN 161 803 792) pleaded guilty to charges under the Motor Car Traders Act 1986 related to changing the mileage readings on two cars, misrepresenting odometer readings to customers on eight cars it was selling, and recording 14 false readings in its dealings book.
The offences were committed between August 2018 and August 2019.
We investigated the Dandenong business after a complaint from a member of the public alleging that Drives (Aus) had tampered with the odometer on a vehicle he had sold to the company. Five consumer witnesses provided evidence.
Odometer tampering, or ‘clocking’, is one of the most serious offences under the Motor Car Traders Act 1986.
It potentially puts road users’ safety at risk by deceiving them about the age and degree of wear of their car, as well as falsely increasing the value, which is based in part on the age of the vehicle.
Magistrate Costas Kilias noted that but for pleading guilty, the company would have been fined $40,000.
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), Nicole Rich, thanked the member of the public for alerting CAV to this matter.
She said that many Victorians relied on an affordable car to get to work, school and other responsibilities, and they were entitled to purchase a safe used vehicle based on accurate information about important features like age and mileage.
Drives (Aus) is no longer licensed or trading.