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Inaccurate Odometer Disclosures Are A Federal Crime
yers rely heavily on a vehicles mileage in determining a vehicles condition and value. Accurate odometer readings and disclosures, therefore, are essential for maintaining a reliable basis for determining a vehicles condition and value.
For these two reasons, both federal and state law prohibits both odometer tampering, and also false mileage disclosures. Federal law stipulates that all vehicle sellers will include and certify an odometer disclosure statement that clearly states the following:
(a) the odometers mileage reading is accurate for that car,
(b) the odometer reflects the amount of miles beyond the mechanical limit of the odometer, or
(c) the odometer reading does not reflect the actual mileage.
Other than modifying the odometer by rolling back the display, shady used vehicle dealers also ignore evidence of fraud or tampering. Sometimes, the odometer readings that have been recorded in the repair records of the vehicle are inconsistent.
That is, a vehicle's title history may show lower mileage in 2007 than in 2006. Additionally, there may be signs of possible odometer tampering that the seller should have noticed such as missing screws around the odometer casing or evidence that the casing and trim around the odometer were removed at one time.
These are signs that the seller should take seriously and check into the history of the vehicle. If he fails to do this then he's not certifying that the odometer is showing the correct mileage.
Buyers concerned about potential odometer inaccuracy can use Carfax, Autocheck, and other such reports to see if there are odometer discrepancies in a vehicle's history. However, these types of reports are not always complete. In addition, some repair facilities and specialty garages inspect vehicles for odometer tampering.
If a seller does tamper with the odometer or fails to provide accurate odometer disclosures, it does so at its own peril, because the federal law imposes severe penalties on violators. Buyers should be aware, however, that the federal law does not require odometer disclosures for vehicles over ten years old.
Karl O. Heil is a leading expert in Lemon Law practices At Romano, Stancroff & Mikhov PC. For top results get real lemon law attorneys. southern California has unique laws. Getting lemon law lawyers in southern California is like money in the bank