A car dealer can roll back a pre-owned automobile’s odometer as they attempt to get the best price for their vehicle. Doing so is illegal and represents a serious offense. Yet, auto dealers commit odometer rollback fraud every day — and if you plan to buy a used car, you need to plan accordingly.
At Robison Lemon Law Group LLC, we offer legal help to car buyers who are forced to deal with odometer rollback fraud. To learn more, get in touch with our team. We can connect you to a lemon law attorney that can explain odometer rollback fraud in detail.
How Odometer Rollback Fraud Is Defined in the United States
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defined odometer fraud as the act of resetting a vehicle’s odometer for the purpose of changing the number of miles shown. Every year, over 450,000 vehicles with false odometer readings are sold in the United States, NHTSA estimates. In addition, NHTSA states that odometer rollback fraud costs American consumers more than $1 billion annually.
A car can have a mechanical, analog, or digital odometer. Regardless, car dealers can adjust an odometer and set the mileage on it lower than what the vehicle has actually traveled. In these scenarios, auto dealer fraud happens, and a car buyer can suffer the consequences.
If you believe you are the victim of odometer rollback fraud, it pays to partner with a lemon law attorney. You can hire a lemon law lawyer in Pennsylvania or any other state. When you do, you can work with an attorney who can help you get to the root of an odometer fraud issue and help you address the problem accordingly.
How Car Dealers Commit Odometer Fraud
A car dealer can commit odometer fraud in several ways, including:
- Replacing a vehicle’s original odometer with a new one.
- Opening up the housing on a vehicle’s odometer and rotating its cylinders backward.
- Using software to reprogram a digital odometer.
You can buy a used car and have no idea that odometer fraud has been committed. However, you may quickly notice signs of wear and tear with the vehicle, even if it has low mileage. In this situation, you may be the victim of odometer fraud.
If you buy a lemon in New York or anywhere else, it is crucial to hold any responsible parties accountable. Thus, if you have concerns that your car may be a lemon, share them with the dealer that sold you the vehicle. A car dealer should address your concerns — if they do not, you may be able to take legal action against them.
How to Tell If Your Car’s Odometer Has Been Rolled Back
It can be tricky to identify odometer fraud, but there are many things that can help you spot this issue. These include:
- Review your car’s title. Compare the mileage listed on your car’s title with the odometer reading and see if they match up.
- Keep track of any vehicle issues. Look for any defects or damage to your car’s seats, floor, gas and brake pedals, and other components that indicate the vehicle may have been driven much more than the odometer reading actually states.
- Check out your car’s tires. Keep an eye on the tires, and if your car has been driven for less than 20,000 miles, it will likely have its original tires on it.
- Read through your car’s maintenance and inspection records. In instances where your car’s maintenance and inspection records are unavailable, it may be a red flag that the dealer has altered the odometer.
- Ask for a vehicle history report. If a dealer is unwilling or unable to provide you with a vehicle history report, you can request one online through Carfax or AutoCheck.
There is no reason to tolerate odometer fraud. If you suspect your car’s odometer has been altered in any way and the dealer continues to deny any claims against them, notify your state’s law enforcement agency. At this point, an investigation may be completed to assess the validity of your odometer fraud claims.
Why Odometer Rollback Fraud Is Illegal Across the United States
Every state gives odometer rollback fraud the attention it deserves. Illegally altering a car’s odometer is a violation of vehicle title laws in which a dealer does not provide a buyer with accurate information about a vehicle. It also violates consumer protection laws, which are designed to keep buyers safe against deceptive, dishonest, and fraudulent acts.
Along with violating state laws, odometer fraud is a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Car dealers are federally required to accurately represent a vehicle’s mileage. If a car dealer is found guilty of odometer fraud, it can receive federal penalties.
The Federal Odometer Act applies to odometer rollback fraud as well. If a car dealer commits odometer fraud, it can receive penalties totaling three times the buyer’s damages or $10,000 (whichever amount is greater). The dealer can be forced to pay the buyer’s legal fees, too.
How to Deal with an Odometer Rollback Fraud Claim
Before you make a claim that a car dealer may be guilty of odometer rollback fraud, it helps to connect with a lemon law attorney. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your odometer fraud concern with a lawyer. Meanwhile, your attorney can explain all of the legal options you have to get the best results out of your case.
A lemon law attorney works diligently on their client’s behalf in an odometer rollback fraud case. Your attorney will help you gather evidence to show a car dealer committed odometer fraud. Plus, your lawyer can help you present this evidence to authorities.
The best lemon law attorney takes no shortcuts, either. Rather, the lawyer ensures you receive plenty of support with your odometer rollback fraud claim. If you have any questions regarding odometer rollback fraud, your attorney can answer them.
Get Started with Your Odometer Rollback Fraud Claim
Robison Lemon Law Group LLC offers legal help to those who want to file an odometer rollback fraud claim. For more information or to request a complimentary case evaluation, please contact us online or call us at (844) 214-0997.