One type of dealer fraud involves odometer tampering so that its reading is less than the actual mileage of the vehicle. Furthermore, a selling party can be deemed to have committed odometer fraud if it fails to disclose that an odometer has exceeded its mechanical limits (where the car has really traveled 175,000, not the 75,000 shown on the five-digit odometer).
It is a violation of the California Vehicle Code for the holder of any dealer’s license to advertise for sale or sell a used vehicle as “certified” or use any similar descriptive term in the advertisement or the sale of a used vehicle that implies the vehicle has been certified to meet the terms of a used vehicle certification program if the dealer knows or should have known that the odometer on the vehicle does not indicate actual mileage, has been rolled back or otherwise altered to show fewer miles, or replaced with an odometer showing fewer miles than actually driven.
In the event that the dealership fails to act in conformity with these laws, the consumer is entitled to remedies to include rescission of the purchase agreement and payment for actual damages, consequential damages, punitive damages, and costs of litigation. In most instances we are able to recover attorneys’ fees as either consequential damages or punitive damages.
Client purchased a 1995 Nissan Maxima from Defendants. Subsequently, he discovered that the odometer of the subject vehicle had been tampered with. As such, since the actual mileage of the subject vehicle was significantly higher, the value was substantially lower than what he had paid for it. Defendants had failed to disclose this material information to Client at the time of purchase.