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Woman claims car’s odometer rolled back, but dealer calls lawsuit ‘suspicious’

A woman who traded in her car, then bought it back two weeks later, claims in a lawsuit that a north suburban car dealership turned the odometer back.

But the owner of O’Hare Hyundai in Des Plaines says it’s not true, and provided signed odometer statements showing there were actually two more miles on the car when it was resold. He called the suit “suspicious.”

Sibley Jankoviak claims in her suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, that she traded in her 2011 Hyundai Sonata in December 2011 for a different car at O’Hare Hyundai. Two weeks later, she decided she wanted her Sonata back, and made the same trade in reverse.

According to the suit, she found a lower number on the odometer. Jankoviak claims the Hyundai had 33,885 miles on it when she gave it up on Dec. 6, 2011, but only 33,340 miles when she bought it back on Dec. 20.

Documents provided by Kevin Mize, president of the dealership, show otherwise. According to Odometer Disclosure Statements, signed by the dealership and Jankoviak, the car had 33,883 miles when it was returned on Dec. 6, and 33,885 miles when it was resold to her on Dec. 20.

Mize on Friday said, “All parties signed off that the odometer was 33,883 when she traded in

the car on Dec. 6 The car then went to get detailed off site or sublet on Dec. 15 with 1 additional mile on it, 33,884. The car was bought back by Jankoviak on Dec. 20 with signed odometer statements of 33,885 on Dec. 20.

“Why six months later she is bringing up an odometer issue from time of delivery is suspect,” he said.

The suit acknowledges that papers Jankoviak signed when she got the Sonata back had the same mileage listed as when she gave it up, but claims she noticed a smaller number on the dashboard when she got in the car.

The suit alleges O’Hare Hyundai violated the Federal Odometer Act, then didn’t realize until it was too late that the previous owner was buying the car back and would notice the difference in mileage.

The two-count suit also claims violations of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code. Jankoviak seeks at least $3,000 in damages and court costs.

Mize, who said the suit had not been served as of Friday, also said there was no attorney general’s investigation into the allegations, and no Better Business Bureau report.

“We work hard at earning our current A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,” he said. “We just have earned dealer of the year in the state of Illinois from Dealer Rater — a highly-regarded third-party automotive review site by consumers for consumers — for 10 years running.”

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