Mechanic warns of engine light tape scam

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Wanda King-Whitby was cruising as a result of the listings on…

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Wanda King-Whitby was cruising as a result of the listings on Automobile Trader and Craigslist when she found the proper auto at the proper value.

It was a 2006 Toyota Camry with just over 151,000 miles. She preferred it she drove it and she said, the salesman explained to her there was nothing at all wrong with it. She compensated $4,000 and drove it property.

“He just explained to me that the auto was in good shape,” King-Whitby reported. “It did not need any repairs I did not require an emission and I should not have any challenges with it.”

Like most automobile potential buyers, King-Whitby opted to skip a pre-order inspection. Pretty much immediately, she mentioned, the vehicle experienced issues.

“It appeared like the transmission slipped or the motor slipped,” she stated.

A mechanic at Theo’s Automotive in Peachtree Town, Ga, performed a submit-order inspection and discovered challenges should have stored the car off the highway. The car or truck had been inadequately repainted and there ended up signals the roof had been crushed.

But that was just the starting.

This is what mechanics observed when pulling apart the dash of Wanda King-Whitby’s freshly acquired Toyota Camry. (WGCL)

A long time ago, the only way to lessen a car’s odometer car or truck was by removing the instrument cluster and manually rolling back again the miles. But in the electronic age criminals have an simpler solution.

In King-Whitby’s case, the primary instrument cluster experienced been taken out and changed with a person with much less miles. Samantha Stout, a service advisor at Theo’s, located the discrepancy on the vehicle’s Carfax report.

“It says that the mileage was 151,000 with a notice of mileage inconsistency,” Stout mentioned. “The mileage right before that was 248,000 miles.”

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By changing the instrument cluster, somebody reduced the car’s mileage by 97,000 miles.

Glen Berry, a service supervisor at Theo’s, confirmed us the instrument cluster soon after it was taken out. It appeared normal, till he pulled back the semi-transparent cover covering the warning lights. Berry suggests when you push start out or convert the ignition, cars are made to exhibit all warning lights as a self-look at.

On Whitby’s Camry, anything lit apart from for the examine motor gentle.

“Upon making an attempt to see why it does not operate, we in fact started off peeling the covering back and you can see they set a very little piece of electrical tape on it to black out in which that gentle was on,” Berry explained.

By masking the look at motor light, Berry claimed a seller could make it look there was very little erroneous with the car and that it would effortlessly go emissions.

“This was intentional,” Berry said. “They knew what they have been accomplishing.”

CBS46 went to AP Vehicle Repairs in Douglasville, Ga, and questioned the sellers for an explanation. Workforce of the corporation claimed the car’s former vendor have to have tampered with it.

King-Whitby has since gained a $4,000 hard cash refund from AP Vehicle Repairs.

Whitby mentioned the money is likely into the financial institution, but when she purchases her next applied car or truck, she will pay back for a pre-purchase inspection.

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