Online car seller fined for misleading odometer readings (Wesam Mohammed)

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Balga man sells two vehicles online with incorrect odometer readings
  • Fined $1,600 on each charge for false or misleading representations
  • Seller had previously been prosecuted for unlicensed dealing

An online car seller has been fined $3,200 by the Perth Magistrates Court for misleading two buyers by falsifying odometer readings.

Wesam Hamed Mohammed of Balga was also ordered to pay costs of $682 when convicted on 14 April 2023 of breaching the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations.

In April 2020 whilst the holder of a motor vehicle dealer licence, Mr Mohammed purchased a vehicle on Facebook Marketplace that had an odometer reading of 227,860 kilometres. One month later it was sold on Gumtree with a reading of 126,060 kilometres.

In June 2020, a consumer purchased a vehicle from Mr Mohammed with an odometer reading of 135,500 kilometres. Enquiries made by the purchaser uncovered that the same vehicle had an odometer reading of 187,679 kilometres in July 2016. When confronted with this information by the buyer, Mr Mohammed provided a full refund.

In July 2019, Mr Mohammed was fined $4,000 by the Perth Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to operating a large car dealing operation without a licence. He had bought and sold more than 80 vehicles from June 2017 to August 2018.

Balga man fined for operating large illegal car dealing operation (Wesam Mohammed) – 9 July 2019

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said misrepresenting the history of a vehicle, including its odometer reading, is a serious breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

“Both digital and analogue odometers can be tampered with and changed. Many newer vehicles have digital control units or computers that may allow for the odometer to be replaced or re-programed,” Ms Blake said.

“To protect themselves, buyers can have the vehicle inspected by a third-party professional, who may be able to uncover inconsistencies between the condition of the vehicle and the odometer reading. For example, if the interior is worn, but the odometer reading is low, it could indicate tampering.

“Buyers should ensure the car they are buying comes with a log-book and check the history for records of odometer readings to determine if they are correct and consistent. This may involve contacting the repairer in question to ascertain if the vehicle has actually been there for a service.

“Consumer Protection has zero tolerance to the practice of winding back odometers and will take swift action as soon as any cases are brought to our attention.”

A Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check can tell you whether a car has been stolen, has money owing on it or has been a repairable write-off, and may include an odometer reading check.

Complaints against motor vehicle dealers can be lodged on the Consumer Protection website

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