Ferrari’s world is being rocked because of a lawsuit filed against Ferrari of Palm Beach alleging wrongful termination. This particular case was brought to the court by a certain Robert “Bud” Root who worked as a salesman at this local dealership.
While it initially appears to be one of the usual cases many companies face, what makes this one interesting in that Root is also alleging that the Palm Beach dealership was involved in a highly illegal practice that is odometer fraud. This is a scheme wherein the odometers of vehicles are rolled in order to give the impression that they have less mileage that they actually do. In the same suit, Root claims that since the diagnostic tool that was utilized in order to make the roll back possible was connected to the central system as part of the authorization, the brand is guilty by association.
The Daily Mail however appears to be not satisfied with that and dug deeper into the story. It appears that in January 2016, Root was fired and replaced at once by Noelle Miskulin. Miskulin was said to have later married Jay Youmans, the General Manager of the dealership. According to the report from the Daily Mail, the reason Root was fired was because he helped facilitate the scheme and thus violated business ethics. However in Root’s complaint, he did include the idea of age discrimination.
That would have ended there but it appears the dealership rehired Root some months later in the hopes that he would not file a lawsuit. In his filing, Root alleges that he experienced “retaliatory” actions when he was rehired which eventually made him decide to file a case towards the end of 2016. One such action was that his desk was placed upstairs and this made it difficult for him to reach it.
A visit to the dealership’s website reveals that Root is still listed as an employee with Miskulin, now Noelle Youmans, as both the Motorsport Coordinator and the Marketing Manager.
So how is Ferrari involved? It boils down to the DIES Tester. This is the diagnostic tool that the brand implements in order to troubleshoot the issues faced by many of its models. According to the suit, this same device has the ability to reset odometers and the brand itself has procedures that make such a practice possible. Root alleges that since technicians are required to log in and then upload the data to the main network of Ferrari, then the brand should be just as liable as the dealership itself.
The reality is such a practice, which is rolling back odometers, is not a new thing in this industry. While this case may initially appear to be more of a nuisance, there is no telling how far it will go or if it will eventually make an impact on the brand itself.