“Busting Miles, Clocking, or Odometer Fraud”
Deception, deceit, tampering, scams – all things you hope and think you may never come into contact with when buying a vehicle. Think again. Odometer fraud is extremely prevalent in the car buying industry, and can happen right under your nose without you having a clue.
People will do anything to sell their vehicle at a higher price; despite the negative impact it could have on buyer’s. One of the most common methods of fraud used by sellers is Odometer fraud. Odometer fraud consists of illegally tampering with the total mileage shown on a vehicle’s dashboard.
Odometer Fraud is a felony. However, the number of cases reported is still exceptionally high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 450,000 cars with false odometer readings. This costs American car buyers a whopping 1 billion dollars annually.
How to detect odometer fraud?
So what can you and the rest of consumers do in order to prevent Odometer fraud from personally affecting you? Although it is not easy to detect this mileage altering, it is not impossible. Look at the odometer. Make sure that the numbers are easily readable and correctly aligned. They also shouldn’t have gaps in between them or jiggle when the dashboard is banged on.
Consumers should take note of the wear and tear of the vehicle they are looking to buy. Pay special attention to the pedals. Additionally, if the odometer reads 20,000 miles or less, the original tires and brakes should typically still be intact. If the mileage count does not seem to match the quality, there might be a case of tampering.
Compare the mileage shown to that of the vehicle’s maintenance and inspection records or an official vehicle history report. For instance, these documents should provide more insight regarding any inconsistencies that may be lurking behind the dash. In the unfortunate event that you fall victim to odometer fraud, make sure to report it.
Don’t let odometer fraud leave a hole in your wallet. Be sure to take the correct precautions when buying a used car and walk away having confidence in your new vehicle!