Last August, Ferrari salesman Robert “Bud” Root submitted a lawsuit against a previous client, Steven McMillan, after Root claimed McMillan made remarks which caused him to lose his job at Ferrari of Palm Beach in Florida. Root has since gone back to his position, but not before alleging that McMillan had requested Ferrari to roll back the mileage appearing on his LaFerrari’s odometer to nothing, thereby increasing the automobile’s value and carrying out fraud. Moreover, Root’s suit alleges this is a common practice concerning Ferrari’s more well-respected and well-connected customers and their new, digital odometer equipped cars.
From the lawsuit: “It was eventually uncovered that the conduct which resulted in [Root’s] firing and the public disgracing of [Root] was a false statement from [McMillan] that Plaintiff had been a knowing and intentional participant in an illegal scheme to alter an odometer in violation of state and federal law …”
The suit further declares, “In or about the summer of 2015, [Root] learned from another Ferrari Palm Beach employee that the manufacturer of Ferrari cars has a device which enables a Ferrari factory-trained mechanic to reset the odometer on certain Ferraris to zero. The existence of the device is almost completely unknown among the worldwide community of Ferrari “super-car” owners. The two-fold reason for this is clear. A secret reset of an odometer by even a few hundred miles can enhance the value of a Ferrari by a seven-figure amount. Were it to become common knowledge that a device exists which can alter Ferrari odometers without detection, the huge Ferrari re-sale market would be thrown into turmoil, as true value of pre-owned Ferraris on which the reset device operates, would be called into question.”
Rolling back an automobile’s odometer is a violation of state and federal laws. Root alleges that after notifying McMillan of the apparent odometer “defeat device” so that McMillan would be cautious of used, low-mileage cars and trucks, McMillan rather used the information to make an off-books cash payment to one of Ferrari of Palm Beach’s mechanics to utilize the reset device to reset the odometer on [McMillan’s] 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari to nothing.
The referral to this supposed “off-books cash payment” directed to a specific mechanic and not to Ferrari corporate would appear to not connect Ferrari to the plan, even though the claim declares that only Ferrari-trained service technicians learn about the “defeat device”– suggesting that Ferrari reveals them how to roll back odometers.
When requested for comment, a Ferrari representative stated, “We do not discuss litigation between a dealer and its employees. This litigation includes 3rd parties with respect to Ferrari North America and the lawsuits does not involve Ferrari. Ferrari reserves the right to take all suitable action against any party that has negatively affected its rights.”