Action 9 investigates vehicle history reports



ORLANDO, Fla. - A vehicle history report is supposed to give car buyers peace of mind.

But two Orange County families claim AutoCheck reports failed to tell them about major accidents or even odometer fraud.

Richard Gagot bought a 2008 Volkswagen Passat after a car dealer gave him an AutoCheck report that showed the car had a clean history.

"I thought it was getting a good deal good car with low mileage," said Gagot.

When he wanted to trade it in, he ran a report from Carfax, a different vehicle history company, and saw the car had possible odometer fraud.

It suggested the Passat had another 30,000 miles on it when Richard bought it.

"If I would have known about the car, I would have never purchased the vehicle," said Gagot.

When Marie Millien bought a 2011 Volkwagen, an AutoCheck report listed the Jetta as accident free.

A week after buying it, Millien suspected something was wrong and got a Carfax report, which revealed her car had been wrecked in 2012 and totaled by the insurance company.

Millien couldn't believe it.

"I was upset and I was mad," she said.

Consumer experts said vehicle history reports can make mistakes and some companies use more information.

Repair expert Jay Zembower said Carfax has the ability to go into repair shop records and match a vehicle's VIN with any repairs that were made at a facility.

AutoCheck and Carfax offer guarantees of losses covered if a report mistake costs the consumer money.

Gagot said AutoCheck turned him down.

AutoCheck has this statement for Gagot: "From what we can derive from the VIN you provided, we believe that the odometer readings could have been mis-keyed at the point of inspection. This can happen with maintenance information, as it is often hand written and then manually entered."

The company went on to state "the 1 in 15,439 could have been mistaken for a 4 (to show 45,439)."

Gagot isn't buying it.

He said the company should have told him there was a mileage issue before he bought the car.

"I need something done because I don't know what I'm driving," Gagot said.

Since contacting Action 9, Millien was allowed to return her car and got all her money back.

Consumer groups and car repair experts say vehicle history reports are a good start but should never replace an independent inspection.