As a matter of fact, buying a car is an essential investment. So, consumers need to do a thorough research before making their final purchasing decision. It is especially true if you are about to obtain a used car. As a wise car shopper, you should take into account the condition of the automobile, as well as the terms of the sale. Another useful advice is to make sure that the dealer is trustworthy and reliable. The reason is that many car shoppers frequently become victims of auto dealer frauds. Mileage rollback is one of the unlawful practices that dealers use to cheat car shoppers. Here is everything that you should know about mileage rollback to protect yourself from this auto dealer fraud.
Why is odometer important when considering a used car?
To begin with, the main functionality of any vehicle’s odometer is tracking the distance that the automobile travels. When buying a used car, an important point of consideration is the mileage of the car. It is the key to assessing the reliability of the vehicle. Knowing how many miles are on the vehicle’s odometer will help you have an access to valuable information about the car. In other words, you will have a clear idea about the value, life expectancy and condition of the car. Additionally, you will also find out about the repairs that the automobile has experienced. This means that the mileage of the vehicle has a considerable impact on any car shopper’s decision-making process.
What is a mileage rollback?
Mileage rollback is an auto dealer fraud that an increasing number of “honest” dealers enjoy using on a daily basis. Many people also know this auto dealer fraud as odometer rollback. It happens when a car dealer alters the odometer of a used vehicle to hide the vehicle’s actual mileage. The reason behind such a deceitful action is to sell the vehicle at the higher price. Actually, car dealers can roll back mechanical odometer of the vehicle with no difficulty. They take these simple steps:
- Removing the odometer from the car
- Turning the cogs for displaying the mileage that they want
- Reinstalling the device
Nowadays unethical car dealers also succeed in turning back digital odometers as well. It is true that digital odometers can be turned back easier than mechanical odometers. Unfortunately, such a dishonest practice occurs very frequently and many people spend thousands of dollars on vehicles that don’t cost such a huge amount of money.
How to avoid mileage rollback?
It is vital for any car shopper to have appropriate knowledge about the mileage rollback. You should take certain steps to detect and prevent this dealer fraud. Here is what you should do before deciding on a car purchase.
- You should inspect the vehicle’s odometer in a proper way. Make sure that the automobile lacks any signs of tampering. This means that it is possible to read all the numbers easily and you cannot find any gaps between the numbers.
- Another essential thing that deserves your attention is the odometer replacement signs. For example, when you notice that the dashboard is removed or the scratches and screws are replaced.
- Examine the overall condition of the vehicle. Sometimes the existence of the rough interior and low miles means that you may be dealing with a mileage rollback. Actually, the wear on the gas and brake pedals, as well as gear lever is a serious reason for concern. In this case, you shouldn’t rely on the low vehicle mileage.
- Consider comparing the current mileage on the odometer with mileage information that is available both on inspection records and vehicle maintenance records.
- A good idea is carrying out a detailed investigation of the automobile’s history. You have the option of getting a vehicle history report.
- Ask a trustworthy mechanic to inspect the car before purchasing it. Sometimes you don’t succeed in detecting the sign of the mileage rollback. But a skilled professional can provide a lot of ‘’interesting’’ information about the past life of the automobile. So, don’t forget about pre-purchase inspection before obtaining a used car.
Are you one of the victims of this dealer fraud? For large-scale investigations, the wisest decision is turning to The NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation. If legal assistance is what you are seeking, contact an experienced and reliable dealer fraud attorney.