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hansmeister

A legal and ethics question

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In another thread, car54280zx posted pictures of a fabulous restoration.  The cost of this restoration was not stated, but another member posted that a friend paid $140,000 Cdn for a similar restoration.  This 280ZX is now better than new.

When this much is spent, is it legal and ethical to reset the odometer?

I have gone back 10 years of posts, and this question has not been asked previously.

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I have no issue resetting an odometer for a restomod AS LONG AS the vehicle has been COMPLETELY restored, new engine build etc. And then, full disclosure that the vehicle has been reset and a record of the original reading has been kept.

 

With the 5 digit odometer, it’s often difficult to tell if it’s 20,000 or 120,000 or 220,000 miles on a car! Well, maybe not the 20,000 miles!

 

 

Is it legal? Yes because the mileage has never been registered along with the vehicle, and I have no proof that the speedo/odometer is the original unit AND I do not plan on selling the vehicle. Ever. Is it ethical? Yes with full disclosure IMHO

 

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Where does it stop, untruths here and there? Sets up regrets down the road imho.

Google "240z restoration program" and see what Nissans contractors did. I wish I could tell you but after reading quite a few post no one mentioned it.

 

 

 

Edited by siteunseen

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In the military, we reset odometers all the time. Add a new odometer or change an engine etc. We add a small sticker to the dash indicating the previous reading. I plan on documenting the change in the build book that will accompany the car beyond my passing as it will never be sold.

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Don't Google "240z factory restoration program" because the "factory" didn't "restore" them.  Let's get that misconception cleared up right away!

Short answer; Nissan USA hired a number of "contractors" to recondition previously sold 240zs and then sold them through selected dealers with 12 month / 12,000 mile warranties.  Many many parts were replaced in the process but the speedometers were not replaced in all cases and odometers were not reset to 0 miles.

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In my case, the car will have none of the original running gear (engine, transmission, diff, complete front and rear suspension, gas tank, brakes and brake lines) along with new fenders, replaced quarters, new frame rails, new floors, new seats and dash, half the glass, body work and paint. What would the original odometer refer to that the production date doesn’t already state? The 15% of the car that is still original?

 

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20 minutes ago, 26th-Z said:

Don't Google "240z factory restoration program" because the "factory" didn't "restore" them.  Let's get that misconception cleared up right away!

Short answer; Nissan USA hired a number of "contractors" to recondition previously sold 240zs and then sold them through selected dealers with 12 month / 12,000 mile warranties.  Many many parts were replaced in the process but the speedometers were not replaced in all cases and odometers were not reset to 0 miles.

I corrected that as your typing I guess. So Nissan had no factories in the US at the time? I do know they never went back to Japan.

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That 15% is exactly what would make resetting the odometer illegal.  The car has a serial number.  It was sold and registered at one time and regardless of how much has been replaced, the chassis has mileage which is what the odometer represents.  You could, of course, claim that the odometer has "just turned over" or was replaced, but if someone complains there would be little if any defense.  It's illegal to tamper with the odometer.

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We have time machines in Canada. You can go back in time and change the gender on your birth certificate so an odometer reset is down in the noise.

image.png

btw the guy in the pink shirt in the middle is our prime minister. Yes, sadly the real world is worse than South Park could ever parody.

 

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Edited by 240260280
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My opinion is that who really pays attention to what the odometer reads on an old classic vehicle with a 5 digit odo.  So, go ahead and do whatever you want and don't feel guilty about it.  Just make sure that when someone asks (buyer, etc) if the mileage is accurate tell the truth and say no.  Shoot, in Texas the titled mileage on old cars is stated as "exempt"...even the state knows the information/mileage cannot be relied upon.

In full disclosure, when I restore a vehicle, I hook a drill motor to the speedometer and advance it to the next 1000 mile increment. Much easier for me to remember the mileage at restoration completion.  Is this unethical?

BTW, when I purchased my '72 Z, the odometer was not working.  How long had it been this way?  What is the exact mileage...I did not care.  Almost forgot...replaced the speedometer/odo so really the reading has nothing to do with the actual mileage.  Was it unethical to replace the speedometer?  If no, what is the difference in resetting the one you have.

Edited by David F
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4 hours ago, hansmeister said:

In another thread, car54280zx posted pictures of a fabulous restoration.  The cost of this restoration was not stated, but another member posted that a friend paid $140,000 Cdn for a similar restoration.  This 280ZX is now better than new.

When this much is spent, is it legal and ethical to reset the odometer?

I have gone back 10 years of posts, and this question has not been asked previously.

Great question, I'm not sure the amount of money spent on the car makes any difference, in the case of your 280zx it can never be a new car if it is a restoration with a VIN from 1979. That is if you are going for stock original and trying to be true to the original version. Now if you are radically modifying as Wheee is suggesting then all bets are off. Seriously modified cars may be based on an old car but they are not trying to recreate or restore to original and in that case the ODO's mileage only reflects the mileage on the ODO.

 

Edited by grannyknot
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What unethical is to deceive a potential buyer. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re honest. Otherwise you are lying and that the unethical part .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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@David F

In the US most of the laws governing this are state laws. So there is not one right answer and I don't even know what the laws pertaining to this are in Canada or if they are provincial laws or national laws. Here in SC there is no law against rolling an odometer forward, that I know of. It is highly illegal to roll one backward.

Now on the broader topic. If you roll one forward far enough to be 00,000, I would expect the law would frown on this too if the intent is to defraud. I have replaced odometers in cars and have tried to purchase odometers or set them close to what I replaced, but pretty much all of our titles for 10 year old cars or older say "Exempt" so the mileage is in "excess of mechanical limits". I think the OP's premise is, if the car has enough money invested in it then it's a "new" car and the odometer should reflect that but in reality I think that is too close to the line. The car is not new and it's not a super low mileage survivor. I think most states would agree and if someone were to purchase the car and make a big deal about it could become a problem.

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In the US it is not legal, unless when the vehicle is resold the owner checks the form stating that the mileage shown on the odometer is not accurate. There is no grey area on that issue under federal law.  I would consider it ethical if a similar statement was made to the buyer as well. Of course, that would not be a surprise in this case, but it is appropriate and ethical to make it clear.

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