Odometer Reading at Delivery

Odometer Reading at Delivery

I live in Virginia, USA, and believe that the forms Tesla Motors sends to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) should show the actual odometer reading shown on the screen in the Tesla vehicle. Immediately below is my initial post on the topic (in a somewhat-unrelated thread), along with the two comments others made about my post. I am now starting this separate thread on the topic because I think the issue is important, and I don't agree that it is okay to (falsely?) say 50 miles simply because that is how Tesla Motors always does it. If you look at the DMV forms at the two links at the end of this post, you might understand why I think the true odometer reading should be shown on those forms.

rasmussen305 | December 17, 2016
My wife and I took delivery of our Model S at the Tyco Road store Dec. 2nd, and had an issue regarding the odometer reading. The odometer showed 7 miles, which was consistent with the Virginia safety-inspection document showing 6 miles three days earlier. Also, the delivery person said that 7 was the actual mileage. The problem was that the delivery person pushed us to sign a DMV document certifying that the odometer reading was 50 miles! We refused to do that. Instead, we changed the 50 to the true 7, initialed the change, and then signed the document. Unfortunately, in spite of our certification of the true odometer reading of 7, the title for our Model S states that the odometer reading at delivery was 50! | December 17, 2016
@rasmussen - Tesla has been using a fixed number since the start. Back in 2013 it was 95 miles on everyone's docs. It's just an easy way to write up the documentation in advance. I think I had 23 miles on my odometer. Not sure what the concern is. My guess is all the docs are filed electronically as well, so changing the physical document likely never got into the electronic version sent to the DMV. I guess if you get a Ticket before your actual 50 miles you could claim Tesla owned it then! I wouldn't try it though :)

Bighorn | December 17, 2016
50 miles goes on everyone's paperwork. No big deal.

SCCRENDO | 20 december 2016

@Bighorn +1.
I had 14 miles on my car but got written up for 50

rasmussen305 | 20 december 2016

I am sorry the links aren't working now (seemingly because so many hits happened since I put up this post?). The first link is for the "ODOMETER DISCLOSURE STATEMENT." The second link is for the "APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE OF TITLE AND REGISTRATION."

Rocky_H | 20 december 2016

Have you ever bought a new car before? This is pretty commonly done by many auto makers.

rasmussen305 | 20 december 2016

Five new cars before this Tesla: VW, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Ford, and another VW. In all cases, the delivery documents--and, hence, our title--all showed the actual mileage reading we saw on the odometer. All were in Virginia. But even if "this [falsification?] is pretty commonly done by many auto makers," since when would that make it okay to certify a false mileage number as true? Why should Tesla Motors or the buyer put themselves in possible legal jeopardy by certifying a false statement as true? Why should Tesla Motors resist stating the actual odometer reading? What could be so difficult about simply stating the odometer reading that appears on the screen at delivery?

pagrimm1 | 20 december 2016

AS Hillary said; "What difference does it make." The warranty starts at 50 miles.

EVRider | 20 december 2016

It makes a diffference if you lease, because the initial miles don't count against your allowance. In that case you're better off if the actual initial mileage is less than what's documented.

SCCRENDO | 20 december 2016

At 104500 I had my first out of warranty repair at 102000. Glad they gave me those extra 50 miles.

Bighorn | 20 december 2016

Pettiest post of the year slips in right under the wire.

SCCRENDO | 20 december 2016

@Bighorn. I think Van Perley could top it.

codyb12889 | 21 december 2016

I cant believe this is still on the first page.

Mileage on titles is there for two reasons. Tax assessment and fraud prevention.

50 miles versus 10 miles makes zero difference on valuation.

New is new you are not buying a car with 100k miles and a title that says 150k (roll back odometer anyone?)

If you are really that upset about it call the dmv and watch them laugh you off the phone.

rasmussen305 | 21 december 2016

My primary concern is the possible legal jeopardy associated with knowingly making a false statement. Here are the statements Tesla Motors, Inc. is affirming on the form at the first link above.

"Odometer reading entered is THE ACTUAL MILEAGE OF THE VEHICLE. I certify and affirm that all information presented in this form is true and correct.... I make this certification and affirmation under penalty of perjury and I understand that knowingly making a false statement or representation on this form is a criminal violation."

DonS | 22 december 2016

Stating 50 miles for the odometer is like companies use of GAAP accounting: not exact but close enough.

Nexxus | 22 december 2016


What legal jeopardy? Any legal responsibility falls on Tesla, not you. Why, it's not even worth the money spent on lawyers to file a case such as this. Even the Virginia Attorney General wouldn't touch this for fear of being laughed out of court!

rasmussen305 | 22 december 2016

On the form at the second link above, the PURCHASER of a Tesla makes essentially the same affirmations as Tesla Motors, Inc. makes on the form at the first link above.

mntlvr23 | 23 december 2016

When I rent a car, I sign a form that says that they can charge me for a full tank of gas if I do not return the car with a full tank of gas. I sometimes get very concerned whether I am really filling the car enough at the last gas station stop right before the airport, and therefore I try to top it off over and over at the station until it overflows so that I will not get charged.

And still then, I am frightened about the gas that I am burning between the gas station and the rental car return. So far I have been lucky and the rental companies have never yet exercised their legal right to charge me for not following the agreement that I signed.

SCCRENDO | 23 december 2016

@mntlvr23. You do have some grace. In Nashville for example they ask you to bring in your gas receipt. They allow about 20 miles grace.

rasmussen305 | 24 december 2016

If anyone has received documents in conjunction with delivery of their new Tesla that showed the actual odometer reading at delivery (instead of the standard 50), I would like it if you would post that information in this thread. Thank you.

Bighorn | 24 december 2016

Flagged for Scrooge-like behavior on Christmas Eve.
- the Ghost of Christmas Future

SCCRENDO | 24 december 2016

@rasmussen. Bighorn is correct. Flag your thread and get a life. Tesla does some testing when a car comes off the production line. That 50 is a maximum. If they claimed 50 and your car arrived with 51 then I guess you could have a panic attack. Mine arrived with 14. So I guess I got a bonus 36 miles. And gee the biggest fear. Needed some small out of warranty stuff at 102,500 mile. What would have happened if that had happened at 100,043 miles. Well I would have got a warranty repair because I had done less than 100,000 since the 50.

Merry Christmas and /or happy holidays to all.

mntlvr23 | 25 december 2016

@ SCCR - whew, thanks for the info, now I will be able to sleep at night (if only I wasn't so concerned with the mattress tag that I removed under the penalty of law ;)

jordanrichard | 27 december 2016

Where in the hell will this minuscule difference come into play? My paperwork also said 50, but there was only 22 miles on the odometer. I am now at 61,000. So where would this 28 mile discrepancy cause a problem?

BozieB | 27 december 2016

Ah! Laddie, they be in Your, debt.

kaffine | 30 december 2016

Instead of adjusting the paperwork adjust the odometer. Tell the sales person that you can't sign until you take it for a longer test drive. Once it hits 50 miles on the odometer sign the paperwork.

rasmussen305 | 31 december 2016


Dithermaster | 11 januar 2017

You could do a reverse Ferris Bueller's Day Off to make up the difference. And by reverse I mean Drive instead of Reverse. And don't kick the car.

reed_lewis | 12 januar 2017

Every new car I have purchased in Mass in the past 20 years has had what the seller called 'delivery mileage' which basically means under a certain amount. One dealer put the value at 63 miles even though the car had 27 miles on it.

If the mileage on the title is above what the car has, it will remedy itself within a few days (or in my case the drive home)

It makes absolutely no difference in the grand scheme of things.