A Virginia motorcycle dealer sold a used Harley-Davidson as a new Harley and they also misrepresented the odometer reading.

In this Virginia case (which unfortunately had to go through arbitration due to an arbitration clause in the contract of sale that waived our client's right to a jury or trial in court) the motorcycle dealer sold a demonstration motorcycle, with about 11,783 miles on it, as NEW, and represented it as having about 6036 miles on it.  Our client, who was buying the bike as a surprise for her husband, did not know how to drive a motorcycle so she did not (wisely) take it for a test drive.  She believed her salesman and the documents that said the odometer had 6039 miles on it and bought the bike thinking it was new since the dealer told her it was new, the contract said it was new and the mileage disclosure said 6039 miles.  She was told the mileage was because of road tests.  In Virginia, a motorcycle that is used as a demonstrator, or used by dealership personel for their personal or business use, is a USED motorcycle, even if it has not been titled.  The dealer knew the actual mileage was 11,783 rather than the 6039, since the numerous repair orders show mileage accumulating up to 11,783.

We filed an arbitration claim for fraud, violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and violation of the Federal Odometer Act.  We demanded the diminished value of the vehicle at the time of sale, due to it being used and not new, and due to the mileage being over 5000 more on the bike than represented.  We also demanded her legal fees and punitive damages for the intentional violations of the law.  The Dealer claimed it was an error, and an innocent mistake and there was no intent to deceiver her.  Our client paid full price as if it were new. 

A demand of $40,000 was made early in the case.  Just prior to the hearing, the case settled for a confidential amount which the client was very happy with.

John Cole Gayle, Jr.
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Consumer Law Pioneer and Co-Author of Virginia's Lemon Law