What is Odometer Fraud?
Odometer fraud (which is often a type of consumer fraud) generally involves someone tampering with or altering the mileage that is stated on a vehicles odometer the gauge that measures how many miles that the vehicle travels whenever it is moving. Odometer fraud is usually committed to deceive a purchaser of a vehicle into believing that a vehicle has traveled fewer miles than is actually the case. To prohibit odometer fraud and to protect motor vehicle purchasers, the Federal Government passed the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act. The Code of Federal Regulations also deals with odometer disclosure requirements. Under Federal Law, the following conduct if committed intentionally may be fraud: • Advertising, selling, using, installing or having installed in a motor vehicle a device that causes its odometer to register the wrong mileage. • Disconnecting, resetting, altering or having disconnected, reset or altered a motor vehicles odometer in order to change the actual mileage stated o
How can I identify odometer fraud? What document am I entitled to see? Are there any laws which protect me against odometer fraud? What should I do if I have reason to believe that I have been a victim of odometer fraud? What is odometer fraud? Odometer fraud occurs when someone gives a false statement in disclosing the mileage of a vehicle. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) odometer fraud is a serious threat to used car buyers that can cost thousands of dollars in frustrating breakdowns and repairs. The difference in value of an average vehicle with 30,000 miles and 70,000 miles is approximately $3,600. When increased finance and repair costs are added, the loss to a consumer who purchases a vehicle with an altered odometer is considerable. AAA further notes that the very nature of the used car market makes it fertile territory for fraud. The vehicle can change hands several times before reaching the used car lot and fraud can happen at almost any step in the proc
Odometer fraud occurs when a seller falsely represents the actual mileage of a vehicle. Common examples of odometer fraud include situations where someone has tampered with the odometer and rolled it back, someone has replaced the odometer and failed to provide the required notice on the vehicle, or where the odometer has rolled through all the digits and started over.
Misrepresentation of the actual mileage of a vehicle is illegal. If someone has tampered with the odometer, if someone has replaced the odometer and failed to provide the required notice on the vehicle or if the odometer has rolled through all the digits and started over, you may have certain rights that protect you if the retailer failed to inform you of these conditions. How do I determine whether I have been sold a vehicle with an incorrect odometer reading? The Department of Motor Vehicles in California maintains records which contain a report of the mileage each time a vehicle is smogged or sold. By reviewing these records, as well as the time line, it is often possible to spot a discrepancy in the mileage. In addition, on-line companies such as carfax.com, consumerguide.com and autocheck.com will, for a fee, provide you with a history of the vehicle’s ownership. Interviewing previous owners and inspecting the mechanical condition of the vehicle can also provide evidence of odomet
The laws are clear — an auto dealer cannot do “rollbacks,” changing an odometer before selling a car. Moreover, a dealer may not make a false statement on a certificate of title or engage in other types of auto dealer fraud. If you believe you are a victim of odometer fraud or any false statements on a vehicle title, call us. Contact Us Of course, you don’t have to understand the legal ins and outs of odometer fraud — that’s what our lawyers are for. We are here to take the legal burden off your shoulders, using our many years of experience in dozens of consumer protection cases to get you what you deserve. Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation about a possible odometer fraud case.