You have to consider many details when purchasing a used vehicle. The make and model of the vehicle and how well it retains its value, among other factors. So, too, is the appearance of the vehicle.
Many people will decide how much they are willing to pay for a used vehicle on the number of miles showing on the odometer. After all, high mileage means significant wear and tear not just to the engine but to the interior and all of the secondary systems in the vehicle.
Unfortunately, used car dealers are acutely aware of the correlation between mileage and price. Odometer fraud continues to be an issue that impacts people all across the nation buying used vehicles from auto dealerships.
Digital systems have not put an end to odometer fraud
Old movies and television shows featuring vehicles made before the integration of computerized controls may give you a humorous montage of shady used car salesperson tactics.
The media would show someone driving a vehicle backward for miles to roll the odometer back. Other times, they might depict someone hooking a drill up to the odometer wires to make it seem like the tires have turned when in fact they have not.
Although vehicle systems have advanced, the tactics used by those trying to defraud used car buyers have also become more sophisticated. Digital odometers do not ultimately prevent odometer fraud from affecting consumers. Even with new, cutting-edge vehicles, there are ways for someone to alter what the odometer displays.
How do you identify odometer fraud?
There are numerous ways that people can be alerted to odometer fraud. Receiving a report about the vehicle’s history is one way. If the previous owner took the vehicle in for an oil change or transmission repairs and had a total mileage recorded that was higher than the mileage when you bought the vehicle, that is a major red flag.
Another way to spot odometer fraud is via a mechanic. If you bring your vehicle in for work, your mechanic may be able to uncover warning signs that point to alterations to the car’s odometer.
If you suspect odometer fraud, you may be able to bring a claim against the dealership that sold the vehicle if they should have suspected odometer rollback, even if that dealership did not actually rollback the odometer. Reaching out to an attorney with knowledge in Lemon Law can also help you assess your options.