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FedEx battles lawsuit over millions of undisclosed miles on resold trucks

A Las Vegas man has filed a lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest delivery companies after allegations that company vehicles were being resold without disclosing accurate mileage.

Tom Layton, the Henderson, Nevada man behind the lawsuit, is experienced in the commercial vehicle industry and has been buying and selling trucks for 36 years.

“What brought us here today is I’m a commercial truck dealer,” Tom Layton told local news station KTNV.

Over the past several years Layton began to notice a pattern that some commercial trucks going through his dealership had odometer issues.

Layton first realized the problem in March 2017 when he sold a Freightliner delivery truck to a FedEx contractor in Washington state.

“About a month after the sale, the FedEx contractor contacted me and said, ‘Hey! What are you trying to pull here?”

Layton was unaware that there were any potential problems with the truck that he sold.

The contractor went on to say, “I took this into Freightliner and had the vehicle hooked up to the computer. And it has over 400,000 miles. And your odometer says 180,000 miles.”

After comparing the odometer, Layton was able to discover that the odometer was changed by FedEx, and not by any car dealership.

“And through our research… By comparing odometers… We found that the odometer was modified by FedEx, not the car dealership.”

According to Layton, the truck didn’t have the original analog odometer that he expected to see on a vehicle of its age. The original was an analog odometer, however, this truck had a digital odometer with four bolds on the instrument panel.

Replacing an odometer is not illegal but it does need to be disclosed according to federal law. A new odometer should be set with the vehicle’s actual miles and it has to be disclosed with a sticker attached to the door jamb. If the actual miles are unknown, that needs to be documented too.

Layton alleges that the company, whether they had a valid reason or not, was not taking the proper steps to replace the odometers “They’re replacing the odometer with one, starting it back at zero. And running 100, 150, 180-thousand miles on it and then selling it,” said Layton.

Layton filed a federal lawsuit against FedEx in 2017 under the name of his company, Nevada Fleet.

After he looked at the details of hundreds of former FedEx trucks he bought. He alleges that of the 400 to 500 vehicles he has purchased, approximately 100 of them had replaced odometers, adding up to 18.5 million miles that were not disclosed to him.

FedEx has denied the allegations, claiming that a third-party company, ARI, is contracted to take care of the sales process of their vehicles and that they were not the ones setting prices or selling the trucks.

According to FedEx. “ARI purchases the vehicle from FedEx, takes the title of that vehicle… and has it delivered to auction.”

Layton’s attorney, Brandon Fernald, claims that FedEx still receives a cut of the money from the truck sales.

“You’re selling a van for twice the amount of money and that money is percolating up the chain with FedEx ultimately getting the lion’s share of it,” said Fernald. “FedEx receives any profit from the sale of said vans over and above a set amount paid to ARI. Thus, the greater the sale price at auction, the greater the profit received by FedEx.”

The claims against FedEx have gotten Layton banned from auctions that sell FedEx trucks, putting him out of business.

Layton’s legal battle is ongoing and FedEx trucks remain on sale.