The Department of Justice classifies odometer rollbacks as the deceptive business practice of lessening a vehicle's displayed mileage in order to deceive another party, typically when that party is in negotiations to purchase the vehicle. While most consumers may be under the impression that car dealers are the primary culprit behind odometer rollbacks, they would be surprised to learn that rolling back odometers is utilized by car wholesalers, private parties, and even vehicle owners looking to deceive car manufacturers. The bottom line is simple though: rolled back odometers deceive others into believing that a vehicle has a certain amount of mileage when in fact it doesn't, an issue that could result in negative repercussions including inexplicable car repairs and other problems that tend to arise with older vehicles.
According to the Office of Consumer Litigation, odometer fraud is typically practiced by:
- Wholesalers who furnish car dealerships with vehicles with inaccurate odometers. These dealers may then, unknowingly, sell these vehicles to consumers.
- Individuals known as "curbstoners" who buy vehicles, roll back their odometers, and then sell those vehicles to private parties via methods such as classified ads and other types of public listings.
- Vehicle owners who intentionally rollback their own vehicle odometers in order to deceive that vehicle's manufacturer, particularly when the affected vehicle's warranty may have recently expired or whenever mileage is a determining factor when the vehicle is being returned.
Odometer rollbacks can affect a deceived vehicle owner's judgment. That is, if a vehicle owner is led to believe that a vehicle has 20,000 fewer miles than it actually does, scheduled maintenance and other recommended upkeep may not take place, creating the potential risk of a malfunction from improper care. Ultimately, odometer rollbacks prevent a vehicle owner from maintaining the vehicle, and possible accelerated depreciation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), consumers lose an estimated $1 billion annually due to odometer rollbacks. If you believe that your vehicle has had its odometer rolled back, don't hesitate to contact an experienced auto fraud attorney at The Law Offices of Howard D. Silver. Our skilled Los Angeles car dealer fraud attorneys will examine the circumstances of your claim, will launch a thorough investigation into your vehicle's history, and will hold car dealers and sellers responsible for rolling back odometers. Call us today at (855) 341-2611, or fill out our confidential online consultation form, for a free evaluation of your case.