Indianapolis car dealership investigated for odometer fraud

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

Tim Hardwick discovered that the car he purchased from KBB Auto Sales LLC had 70,000 miles over the odometer.

“I just felt victimized,” Hardwick said.

Hardwick bought the 2011 Ford Explorer for $9,500. According to the list and mileage, the car had 126,477 miles.

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

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

“I was in disbelief and I instantly, what I should have done before, I pulled out a Carfax and found out the car had sold at auction two weeks before I bought 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 that said it had 183,000, and eventually found out through Carfax that 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 about restitution and it’s ironic that he called me a blackmailer,” Hardwick said.

“The ease of removing that dash just to get the low mileage or just raise the sales price, I think, is what these kinds of predatory companies are trying to do,” said Detective Brandon Farias of the Unit. crimes against Indiana State Police vehicles.

He said after serving a search warrant on March 9, they found several other vehicles on KBB Auto Sales property with odometer discrepancies.

“We found four of the actual lot that were listed for sale on their Facebook page [and] intersecting events,” Farias said. “We noticed the odometer discrepancy and at that time we seized these vehicles for having false odometer readings.

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

“The investigation is still ongoing, there are still several documents that we need, and I just ask anyone who thinks they are a victim of this dealership to call us,” Farias said.

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

“It’s a nice car, I’m really annoyed that it has 70,000 more miles because I would never have much car with 200,000 miles,” Hardwick said.

WRTV contacted KBB Auto Sales and they said none were available.

If you bought a car from this dealership and think you are a victim, the police want to hear from you. You can ISP at 817-248-4392.

Farias said dealerships like this reduce odometers by simply taking odometers from wrecked vehicles and putting them in other cars, increasing their value.

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

Farias said to check the Carfax before going to the dealership. Even if they publish them, these files can be manipulated.

He also said that if the seller quickly skims through the documents, it’s a red flag.

This is not the first time that KBB Auto Sales has been accused of tampering with odometers. A quick search of online court records revealed that KBB Auto Sales had to pay restitution to two separate parties.