That low-mileage Ferrari might be a fake.
A wrongful termination lawsuit filed in Florida against a local Ferrari dealership has snowballed into what could be a potential bombshell for Ferrari corporate.
The story starts out simply enough with Ferrari salesman Robert "Bud" Root suing Ferrari of Palm Beach for age discrimination. Root, 71, claims he was fired because of his age, and because he stumbled upon Ferrari's dirty little secret — a device known as "Deis Tester".
According to the lawsuit, which was first reported by Daily Mail, the Deis Tester is a device deployed by Ferrari that can rollback the digit odometer of any modern Ferrari to 0. The suit alleges the device is used worldwide and requires the blessing of Ferrari headquarters for use.
"The Deis Tester contains a software program for resetting the odometer on a Ferrari to '0.' Ferrari and its affiliates train...technicians throughout the world on the use of the Deis Tester device," the lawsuit reads. "Each time the Deis Tester is utilized on a Ferrari vehicle, authorization is obtained from Ferrari entities via a wireless network connection."
Root claims he got mixed up with the Deis Tester when he warned one of his clients, former Sara Lee CEO Steven McMillan, about buying used Ferrari's with extremely low mileage. Armed with the knowledge of the rollback device, Root alleges McMillan paid a technician off the books to have the rollback performed to his Ferrari LaFerrari, which added about $1 million to the value of the low-volume supercar.
However, things went south when McMillan brought his LaFerrari in for service and a mechanic noticed the mileage discrepancy. The mechanic reported the issue to dealership General Manager Jay Youmans. According to the lawsuit, Youmans used the incident as an excuse to fire Root for his age.
Although wrongful termination is at the heart of Root's suit, the big takeaway is obviously that Ferrari might have a rollback device that it encourages its dealers to use. More than just a no-no, that would be a felony crime under state and federal laws.
Although the Deis Tester sounds strictly digital, the suit claims there is a physical manual on how to use the device, which might prove to be the smoking gun in the case against Ferrari.
"The Ferrari entities published a written policy manual dating back to at least April 2010 specifically detailing how to perform an odometer rollback and expressly authorizing its use. Upon information and belief, this Ferrari policy was used at the Ferrari factory in Italy as recently as March 2015 to instruct Ferrari technicians how to reset to "0" the odometer on a Ferrari vehicle."
Stay tuned as we're sure this is just the tip of the Deis Tester iceberg.