What is odometer fraud?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2020 | Firm News

When people in Connecticut purchase a used car, one feature they may pay particular attention to is the milage on the vehicle. In general, vehicles with lower mileages will have less wear-and-tear and thus may be more reliable vehicles. However, not all dealers are honest when it comes to mileage on a used vehicle and will commit odometer fraud.

What is odometer fraud?

Per the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, a dealer commits odometer fraud when they reset or alter a vehicle’s odometer with the intention of lowering the number of miles indicated on the odometer. According to the NHTSA, approximately 450,000 vehicles with tampered odometers are sold in the U.S. every year.

How to detect odometer fraud

It is difficult to detect odometer fraud, but it can be done. For example, buyers can ask dealers to see the title to the vehicle, so they can compare the milage on the title to the mileage on the vehicle’s odometer. Similarly, buyers can ask to see the vehicle’s maintenance or inspection records, to compare the mileage on these documents to the mileage on the vehicle’s odometer. Examining tires and general wear and tear on the vehicle during a test drive may be a general way to determine if the mileage on the vehicle seems reasonable. It is also a good idea to have any used car inspected by a qualified, independent mechanic before making any purchase.

What to do if you detect odometer fraud

If you detect odometer fraud on a used vehicle you purchased, you have options. First, those in Connecticut can contact the state’s enforcement agency in order to file an individual odometer fraud case. There may be other legal options available to you as well. Connecticut attorneys familiar with auto dealer fraud litigation may be a useful source of information to those who experience such problems.