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'A terrible experience:' Aurora woman says Carvana sold car with 40K mile discrepancy

Company faces fines, suspensions in several states
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Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 21, 2022

DENVER — Contact Denver7 is continuing to report on complaints about the popular online car dealer Carvana.

Sydney Allen says the company sold her a 2019 Honda Pilot that had 40,000 miles less on the odometer than it had on the title, and until Contact Denver7 stepped in, she could not get answers.

"I bought a car from Carvana back in September," said Allen, an Aurora resident. "This could potentially be serious odometer fraud or intent to defraud, and I never received a callback, never was able to reach anybody."

Like others who have reached out to Contact Denver7, Allen had issues getting her car's title, and when it finally came four months after she bought the car, the odometer was listed as 84,545 miles, which was 40,000 miles more than her car's odometer actually displayed.

"Which means that I essentially could never resell this car because nobody knows what the correct mileage is or if somebody has rolled the odometer back," said Allen.

She has been following Contact Denver7's Carvana reporting, including other mileage discrepancies and other title trouble with undisclosed damage.

Contact Denver7 has found Carvana has been fined or had its license suspended in several states, as it has struggled to keep up with registration issues.

"This was the tip of the iceberg," said Mike Rowe, owner of Resale Recovery.

Rowe has been an expert witness on auto damage claims and said the real issue with undisclosed damage is the lack of information insurance companies share with reporting agencies like Carfax.

"The mistake is that people believe Carfax," said Rowe. "Carfax is doing the best job they can with the information they have, but they have very, very limited information."

Rowe said that many insurance companies do not share all accident information with agencies like Carfax, so a car may come back with a clean report, even if it has been in a serious accident.

"Insurance companies need to share this information that they have internally," said Rowe. "Unfortunately, it's true of most dealers that, even though they may see [the damage] if it's not on Carfax, they know they can sneak it by an unsuspecting consumer. And they do," said Rowe.

Allen could not get answers from Carvana until Contact Denver7 stepped in.

"After you guys reached out to Carvana they did have somebody from their leadership team reach out to me," she said, stating that the company is now offering a full refund and $1,000 for her trouble.

In a statement to Contact Denver7, a Carvana spokesperson released this statement:

"This is a rare and unfortunate instance where a customer's experience did not live up to our brand promise and we remain committed to ensuring our customer's needs are met. We’re in touch with the customer to try to address all concerns and look forward to helping our customer reach a satisfactory resolution," the statement said.

"It's just been a terrible experience," said Allen, who said she wanted to warn others about what to watch for. "I think it's just important that people know what they could potentially be getting into if they buy a car with Carvana. This has been really frustrating and time-consuming, and it's difficult to navigate."

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.