Why do car dealerships roll back the odometer?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Auto Dealer Fraud

Car dealerships engage in odometer rollbacks to create a false perception of a vehicle’s usage. By decreasing the recorded mileage, they aim to make the car appear newer and less worn than it truly is. This deceptive tactic can become a tool for maximizing profits at the expense of unsuspecting buyers.

Odometer rollbacks present an opportunity for dealerships to inflate the perceived value of a vehicle, allowing them to command a higher price.

The impact of odometer rollback on consumers

For buyers, the consequences of purchasing a vehicle with a rolled-back odometer can be financially devastating. The perceived low mileage may lead them to pay a premium for a vehicle that is much more used than the odometer suggests. This can result in unexpected repairs and decreased resale value.

Beyond the financial implications, there are safety concerns associated with odometer rollbacks. Hidden wear and tear on critical components may compromise the vehicle’s safety, putting the driver and passengers at risk.

Detecting odometer rollback fraud

The reality is that detecting odometer fraud can be difficult, especially for digital odometers that don’t have visible moving parts. However, you can take certain precautions before buying a car at a dealership, like checking if the used vehicle has ever been reported for odometer fraud.

And remember, just because it hasn’t been reported before does not guarantee an accurate mileage reading. Thankfully, you can compare the mileage shown on the used vehicle’s odometer with the mileage records on the vehicle title.

The practice of rolling back odometers by certain car dealerships is a disconcerting issue that requires attention and action. Buyers should stay vigilant to protect themselves from falling victim to deceptive practices.