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Indianapolis car dealership under investigation for odometer fraud

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 11:27:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police have impounded four vehicles from an Indianapolis car dealership lot as part of an investigation into odometer fraud.

Tim Hardwick found out the car he bought from KBB Auto Sales LLC had 70,000 more miles on it than the odometer read.

“I just felt victimized,” Hardwick said.

Hardwick bought the 2011 Ford Explorer for $9,500. According to the listing and the odometer reading, the car had 126,477 miles on it.

“It drove well, everything seemed normal until I got home,” Hardwick said.

Like any new car owner, Hardwick wanted to learn how to use the bells and whistles of the car. When he reached for the manual in the glove box, he found a window sticker from November 2020 for his car from another dealership stating the car had 183,186 miles.

“I was in disbelief and I instantly, which I should have done before, I pulled up a Carfax and I found that the car had sold at auction two weeks prior to me purchasing it with 196,000 miles on it,” Hardwick said.

To recap, Hardwick thought he bought a car with 126,000 miles on it, found a sticker saying it had 183,000 and finally found through Carfax the car had 196,000 miles on it.

He told WRTV he called the dealership to see if he could get some money back.

“There was denial and I tried to talk to about restitution and it’s ironic that he called me a blackmailer,” Hardwick said.

“The ease of removing that instrument panel just to get the low mileage or just increase the price of sales I believe is what these types of predatory businesses are trying to do,” Detective Brandon Farias with the Indiana State Police Vehicle Crimes Unit said.

He said after serving a search warrant March 9 they found several more vehicles on KBB Auto Sales' lot with odometer discrepancies.

“We found four on the actual lot that were listed for sale on their Facebook page [and] cross-referenced events," Farias said. "We did notice the odometer discrepancy and at that point we impounded those vehicles for having false odometer readings."

Farias said through paperwork they found during that search he believes there are more victims of KBB Auto Sales.

“The investigation is still ongoing there's still several more documents we need, and I just ask that anybody that believes to be a victim of this dealership to please give us a call,” Farias said.

While the investigation continues, Hardwick is stuck with the bill.

“It's a beautiful car I'm just really aggravated that it's got 70,000 more miles cause I would have never lot of car with 200,000 miles,” Hardwick said.

WRTV reached out to KBB Auto Sales and they said non one was available.

If you bought a car from this dealership and think you’re a victim police want to hear from you. You can ISP at 812-248-4392.

Farias said dealerships like this one are lowering the odometers by simply taking odometers from wrecked vehicles and putting them into other cars, in turn, upping their value.

Of course, there are steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Farias said check the Carfax before you go to the dealership. Even if they post them those files can be manipulated.

He also said if the salesperson is running through the documents quickly, that’s a red flag.

This isn’t the first time KBB Auto Sales has been accused of tampering with odometers. A quick search of online court records found KBB Auto Sales had to pay restitution to two separate parties.