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Be Vigilant of Altered Speedometers

Question:

I bought a car, from a dealer about a year and half ago. When I took the car in for service at another branch of the same dealership for a 170 000km service, I was advised that the speedometer on this car had been turned back. The vehicle’s records indicate that the last service carried out on the car was done around 292,000 km. I tried to get the initial dealership to compensate me or to take back the car but they refused. To this day, they have not issued me with a service record booklet. What must I do?

Answer:

The vehicle can be taken to VDO Speedometers and Gauges (Tel: 011 828-5019). They will be able to establish if the speedometer was tampered with, however, the onus of proof lies with the customer and not the dealer and without the service records it is the customer’s word against the dealers.  The dealer can accuse the customer of tampering with the speedometer as the customer has been in possession of this vehicle for a long period.  The Motor Industry Ombudsman/court can compel the dealer to produce the service records, however the customer would have to prove that it was the dealer and not a previous owner that tampered with the speedometer.

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