Lawsuit Claims Ferrari Approved Odometer Rollbacks

Apple iOS in a Car + Ferrari LaFerrari

Former Ferrari salesman Robert “Bud” Root is suing Ferrari of Palm Beach for wrongful dismissal, alleging the dealer fired him after he discovered that a Ferrari DEIS tool was being used to roll back odometers. He also claims discrimination due to his old age.

Root’s claim states that Ferrari’s Italian headquarters has been producing and distributing these devices to dealerships worldwide. It also says that Ferrari must give authorization every time one of the tools is used — a potentially damaging allegation for the supercar manufacturer.

“The development, distribution, and licensing of a device,” said David Brodie, Root’s lawyer, “which authorized and empowers Ferrari dealerships and technicians to perform illegal odometer rollbacks on Ferrari vehicles is patently irresponsible and brings into question the legitimacy of Ferrari odometer readings worldwide.”

The specific vehicle in Root’s case is a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari belonging to retired Sara Lee CEO C. Stephen McMillan. According to the lawsuit, the odometer on McMillan’s Ferrari was rolled back all the way to “0” and increased the value of the hypercar by $1 million.

McMillan allegedly approached the technician and offered him money under the table to perform the rollback for him. Root claims he was fired for objecting to the practice, though his employer cites arranging an odometer rollback as the reason for his firing. Ferrari of Palm Beach is part of New Country Motorcars Group.

The lawsuit claims that manuals published by the company exist that describe to technicians how to roll back a Ferrari odometer to “0.” The manuals allegedly date to as early as April 2010, and the litigant says he suspects rollbacks were performed on cars as recently as March 2015 at Ferrari’s factory in Italy.

Root has since been rehired by the Ferrari dealer, where he allegedly faces retaliation measures, but the practice of making odometers read a lower number of miles than the car has actually driven remains completely illegal. His claim creates an infinitely larger headache for Ferrari than any wrongful termination suit could.

[Source: Daily Mail] [Image: Ferrari N.V.]