The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines odometer fraud as any type of purposeful changing of the number of miles on the odometer from the true number of miles on the odometer occurs more often than you think.
Is this against the law?
Yes, this is a criminal act that is against federal law. Based on federal law, it is illegal to modify the odometer in any way. In fact, when a vehicle is sold, a disclosure, in writing, must be made to the buyer that the reading on the odometer is accurate.
What are the statistics on this crime?
This crime is so pervasive that car buyers lose at least $1 billion through over 450,000 car sales.
How can individuals combat this crime?
There is no fail-safe way for car buyers to be 100% certain their car is free of odometer tinkering. However, there are some things the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration can do:
- Double check the odometer mileage, comparing it against the number and the title. Giving it a visual check on the car is another way to see if it looks “off” or if the gauge may have been modified.
- Looking at service records is another way to cross-reference the true odometer reading. Recent records should align with the figure on the car.
- Visually inspecting the car’s dashboard will let you see if anything is out of place and if there are any pieces of the dashboard that are not in fully, or if they look out of place. If your gut notices something, there may be a chance that you are right.
- While the car’s tires may have recently been changed, motor vehicles with a low odometer, but extremely worn tires may indicate the odometer is less than truthful. Having a car inspected, by yourself or an independent mechanic can see if other parts of the car are worn that is consistent with the car’s odometer. If parts look more worn than the odometer, it may be a case of odometer tinkering.
If a car is sold with a tinkered odometer, it may be a sign that parts within the car may be worn out or defective. These defective parts can lead to an auto crash. If these circumstances occur or a similar act by the seller happened, a personal injury lawsuit may exist. Talking with a Lilburn auto accident lawyer can determine what legal rights you have under Georgia State law. Our attorneys enable you to learn about all of your rights and responsibilities if this has led to an auto crash. Call our law firm today at (770) 487-8999 to schedule a free legal consultation with a Gwinnett County auto accident lawyer today!