Vehicle dealer fined for no licence and odometer dishonesty

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Backyard dealer fined $8,000 for no licence and false odometer readings
  • Two deceived buyers to receive $2,500 in compensation
  • Potential buyers urged to be skeptical of vehicles with unusually low kilometres
  • Buying and selling vehicles without a licence and deceiving two buyers about odometer readings have resulted in a Yokine woman being ordered to pay a total of $17,400 in fines, consumer compensation and costs.

    Leanne Rina Savory was fined $4,000 by the Perth Magistrates Court on 12 May 2022 for being unlicensed and $2,000 on each of the two charges of odometer deception. She was also ordered to pay $6,900 in costs and total compensation of $2,500 to the two consumers who were tricked by greatly reduced odometer readings.

    Between October 2019 and April 2021, Ms Savory bought 13 and sold 12 vehicles from her former Doubleview home without having a licence, in breach of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.

    In two cases, the vehicles were sold with substantial reductions in their odometer readings:

    • A Subaru Outback was purchased in September 2019 with an odometer reading of 340,000 kilometres and sold three weeks later with a reading of 77,521, a reduction of 262,479 kms.
    • A Subaru Liberty was purchased in October 2019 with an odometer reading of 189,788 kilometres and sold a week later with a reading of 85,551, a reduction of 104,237 kms.

    Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said vehicle dealing without a licence and odometer deception were two very serious offences.

    “Backyard operators who buy and sell multiple vehicles as a profit-making business are robbing unsuspecting consumers of their rights to a warranty and other remedies should something go wrong with the vehicles after purchase,” Mr Newcombe said.

    “By masquerading as a private sale, these operators are not complying with warranty, refund or repair requirements that licensed operators have to provide their customers.

    “These illegal dealers are also taking away business from legitimate licensed operators who meet the costs of complying with licence conditions and the laws controlling their activities.

    “Reducing the odometer readings in two of the vehicles is a grossly dishonest practice designed to misleadingly increase the value of the vehicle to maximise the sale price and therefore the profit.

    “Odometer tampering can also create a safety issue as maintenance schedules linked to odometer readings are disrupted and vital service work may not be carried out or parts replaced at the specified times.”

    Potential buyers of vehicles that show unusually low kilometres travelled should be sceptical and do further checks, such as asking to see the service history records. As these records can also be altered, ensure the log book licence number and VIN details match the vehicle being offered for sale and verify the entries by contacting the mechanic who signed off the servicing activities.

    A Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check will show whether a car has been stolen, has money owing on it or has been a repairable write-off, and sometimes may include an odometer reading check.

    Vehicle buyers who believe they have been misled can lodge a complaint on the Consumer Protection website

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