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It is a common stereotype that corporations lie, cheat, and steal to make the numbers look good on the page. Despite the countless examples over the years (looking at you, Volkswagen), we still feel shocked when these companies are caught blatantly taking advantage of us. In the latest example of what some might call corporate theft, FedEx is accused of selling used delivery trucks with replaced odometers. Thousands of delivery truck owners are now taking FedEx to court in a class-action lawsuit. 

Can you buy used FedEx trucks? 

FedEx claims to have over 200,000 delivery vehicles buzzing nationwide at any moment. When those vehicles reach the end of their careers at FedEx, the company sells them at auction to folks who often convert them to other work vehicles like food trucks, campers, etc. 

However, KTNV, a local news network in Las Vegas, NV, reports that while this story broke two years ago, a recent development has some growing implications. 

FedEx lawsuit accuses delivery truck company of fraud

The class-action lawsuit accuses FedEx of participating in the largest-scale odometer fraud scheme in American history. 

Tom Layton, a commercial truck dealer of 36 years, first uncovered the sketchy mileage in 2017 when he sold a FedEx Freightliner that had 180,000 miles on the clock. When the buyer hooked the truck up to a computer, the system indicated that the truck actually had over 400,000 miles. 

He then began to realize that over the years, he had various issues with odometers on used FedEx trucks. In an effort to prove to his customers that he wasn’t rolling back the odometers, Layton said that “…and through our research, found out that the odometer was changed by FedEx, not by any car dealership.” 

His findings after comparing odometers led to the class-action lawsuit filed in New Jersey this past week. The suit has four plaintiffs who represent thousands of alleged fraud victims throughout the country. Despite the class-action lawsuit, Layton is still fighting his own personal legal battle with the shipping company. 

Buying a used vehicle can make you vulnerable

A mechanic working on a car, car dynamos are seeing a resurgence in some vehicles
Mechanic | Kenny Eliason: Unsplash

Due to the nature of the commercial truck resale business, these alleged crimes here are particularly brutal. Many people buying these used delivery trucks are repurposing them into a new small business venture. In some cases, these alleged victims have spent their life savings or a small business loan on this equipment, thinking it was a good, low-mileage piece of equipment to invest in. The Las Vegas news outlet reports that one buyer was forced to go out of business when the newly-purchased FedEx rig needed a new engine. 

Papers from the court say that FedEx replaced thousands of odometers for no apparent reason. While replacing an odometer isn’t illegal, selling the vehicle without resetting the odometer to the proper mileage or otherwise disclosing that information is. 

Given this information, the lawsuit alleges that FedEx and its fleet management company, Holman Fleet Leasing, replaced the odometers, didn’t disclose the proper mileage, and then sold them under the false pretense that the mileage on the replaced odometer was correct. Because this new mileage was, in many cases, far lower than the actual mileage, the company could charge more for the used FedEx vehicles.

What does FedEx have to say? 

As of this writing, FedEx’s only comment has been, “[FedEx] had not yet been served with the complaint or had the opportunity to fully review the lawsuit’s allegations.” Holman has similarly kept its comments minimal. However, the company said that it is looking forward to defending the case in court. 


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