A federal lawsuit alleges FedEx fraudulently replaced the odometers on thousands of used diesel trucks before selling them.
The class action suit claims FedEx and the company it used to resell its fleet vehicles engaged in the largest odometer fraud scheme in U.S. automotive history.
FedEx disputes the claims.
“We are aware of the allegations made in the complaint and will vigorously defend the lawsuit,” a FedEx spokesperson told Spectrum News.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of used FedEx diesel delivery truck buyers in California, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia who purchased the vehicles to operate as food trucks believing they had fewer than 100,000 miles on their odometers. The lawsuit alleges they instead experienced performance and maintenance issues that prompted extensive repair bills and business losses.
Filed in a New Jersey U.S. District Court last week, the complaint cited the Odometer Act of 1972, which prevents the sale, use or installation of a device that makes an odometer register a mileage different from what was actually driven. By law, odometers that are replaced must register the same mileage reading.
Memphis-based FedEx operates a fleet of more than 210,000 vehicles, according to its web site. The lawsuit alleges FedEx had a practice of scrapping vehicles that had reached the end of their useful lives but began reselling them around 2011 to create an additional revenue stream. Those models were typically Freightliner MT45 and MT55 step vans that are often converted to other uses, including food trucks.
The complaint claims FedEx transferred its decommissioned vehicles to Holman Fleet Leasing to be sold at auction without disclosing their actual mileage. Purchased by local retailers, they were then sold to the end consumer at inflated prices.
Based in New Jersey, Holman Fleet Leasing is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.