Ferrari Pumps Breaks on Tampering Lawsuit

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Ferarri California, by pixabay user skeeze, licensed by Creative Commons.

Too fast, too furious

Ferrari’s have always been known as popular sports cars. The very name conjures up an image of a sleek, futuristic coupe speeding around winding roads on the European countryside. A wrongfully terminated Ferrari salesman is firing back and accusing the European auto dealer of allowing “roll backs” on some of their cars. This, in theory, would decrease the mileage and make the car more valuable to potential buyers, interested in owning a flashy sports car. The lawsuit was filed by Robert Root of Palm Beach FL, who had been recently let go of a Ferrari dealership.

The plaintiff claims that Ferrari provides salesmen with specific instructions and authorization to tamper with the odometer, meaning the car would show less miles than it had actually driven. This increases the value of the car, as more mileage is seen as an incremental negative when purchasing a car. For an automobile that runs anywhere from $200,000 to over $400,000, a few dollars more may not seem like much a difference. The official case name is Root v. New Country Motor Cars of Palm Beach. When asked for comment, Ferrari claimed that they “[do not] litigate in the newspaper”.

This appears to be a case of an ugly business relationship, ending with employee and employer on opposite sides of the legal matter. To the car salesman’s point, what Ferrari is accused of doing is definitely bad business and does not reflect well on them. “Roll backs” seem to fit the old negative stereo-type of of a “used car salesman”, the idea being that they will do anything for the sale. Still, an expensive European car would be some of the last you would expect to need any kind of tampering to sell. It will be curious to see if Ferrari decides to settle out of court, which could be viewed as an admission of guilt.