The Oldest Trick in the Used Car Book: Odometer Rollback Fraud
Old but not gold, odometer rollback fraud is still actual today. One might think that the new technology would make it impossible to roll back an odometer. However, facts show that the unscrupulous sellers always find ways to practice their dirty tricks.
People conduct odometer rollback fraud in order to conceal the vehicle’s mileage and to make it seem younger. The younger the vehicle, the higher its price will be. Tampering with an odometer can be really easy in some cases. For example, the mechanic can replace a car’s instrumental panel with one of a lower-mileage car. However, this trick won’t work with other vehicles. Still, the fraudsters have invented various ways to get the things done successfully. Sometimes, used car dealers know about odometer tampering and they still try to sell it. Of course, this is not legal. They do this to merely make money out of the deal.
How to avoid odometer rollback fraud?
There are several ways to check whether there is odometer fraud or not. Following are some of them:
Run a check of state records
If you merely check the car’s title and registration, it might not be enough to know the truth about it. This is because the paperwork could be falsified too. Instead, go check car details in either CarFax or AutoCheck. Reports from these websites usually include details from any state in which the vehicle has ever been registered. This way you will be able to track any abrupt changes in the mileage figure.
Inspect the car yourself
Checking the records is vital, but inspecting the car yourself is no less important. These are the things to look for in a used car to see whether it has undergone odometer rollback:
- Are there any loose screws or marks of scratches? If yes, then there is something wrong there.
- Are there any fingerprints on the inside of the instrument panel?
- If you are inspecting a mechanical odometer, see whether the numbers are equal on it.
- Test drive the vehicle and see whether the speedometer works accurately.
- Ask to see vehicle maintenance records and warranty records
- Ask to see the title document and pay attention to the date of issue
- Look for signs of excessive wear and tear
Odometer rollback fraud has got the goal to defraud car shoppers. It helps convince people that the vehicle in question is really worth buying. The aforementioned tips will help you understand whether the dealer is trying to deceive you or not. If you think that you have already been cheated by them, you should contact a dealer fraud lawyer for legal help. The lawyer will evaluate your case and see what they can do to help restore your rights.