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Tampering With An Odometer Is A State

Jul 30, 2008
Used car buyers factor in a vehicle's mileage when they're deciding the condition and value of the used vehicle. Odometer readings and disclosures are therefore a very important part in determining a vehicle's condition and value.

It's because of those reasons that state and federal laws restrict both odometer tampering, and also a false odometer disclosure papers. federal laws require those seller provided a detailed odometer disclosure statement and certifies the following:

(a) the odometer reflects the actual mileage,

(b) the odometer shows the actual number of miles the vehicle has traveled even if it is beyond mechanical limits of the odometer, or

(c) the odometer is not showing the correct mileage.

Besides rolling back or modifying odometer readings (e.g. using odometer "kill switches"), unscrupulous sellers of motor vehicles also ignore tell-tale signs of possible odometer discrepancies or fraud. For example, there may be inconsistent odometer readings recorded in a vehicle's title or repair history.

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.

Such signs would put the seller on notice that the odometer may have been tampered with and would require the seller to investigate the odometer's accuracy further. If the seller ignored these signs, it would not have a solid basis for certifying that "the odometer reflects the actual mileage."

Car buyers who are concerned about the accuracy of odometer readings on a used vehicle can check the services such as Autocheck that gather background information on used vehicles. sometimes even these background reports are not accurate so. Another option is to take your car to a specialty garage where they can check for signs of 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.
About the Author
Karl O. Heil is a seasoned expert in Lemon Law practices At Romano, Stancroff & Mikhov PC. For best results get real lemon law attorneys. southern California has unique laws. Getting lemon law lawyers in southern California is like cash in the bank
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