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Many Cars Have Fake Mileage On The Odometer

The Pervasiveness of Odometer Tampering

  • Odometer Tampering: A Deceptive Practice
    According to a researcher from Carfax, the issue of odometer tampering is more prevalent than one might imagine. In Wisconsin alone, a staggering 28,000 vehicles have been identified with tampered odometers. This deceptive practice involves altering the mileage of a vehicle, creating a misleading impression of its condition and value.
  • The Art of Odometer Rollback
    In the past, tampering with odometers was a relatively straightforward task. In the 1970s and ’80s, a simple manual adjustment using tools like a dental pick could easily roll back the mileage on analog dashboards. The advent of digital odometers initially posed a challenge, but as technology advanced, a concerning ease of tampering resurfaced. Now, one can easily purchase a device online, plug it into the car, and roll back the odometer, perpetuating the deception.
  • Modern Challenges and Red Flags
    While tampering may be simpler, its consequences have become more complex. Every instance of car servicing, sale, or emissions testing creates a record of the vehicle’s mileage. This meticulous documentation, however, becomes a double-edged sword for those attempting odometer fraud. Any alteration in mileage creates inconsistencies with previous records, instantly raising a red flag during transactions or transfers.

Protecting Yourself as a Buyer

  • The Flipping Phenomenon
    Many individuals engage in the unethical practice of flipping cars and manipulating odometers to sell vehicles at higher prices. To protect yourself as a buyer, it is crucial to scrutinize the mileage history of any potential purchase. The temptation to acquire a seemingly low-mileage vehicle may lead to costly repercussions down the road.
  • Trusted sources and verification
    While Carfax provides valuable information, relying solely on it may not be sufficient. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is considered the authoritative source for all records related to mileage. By cross-referencing the vehicle’s history with NMVTIS, buyers can ensure that the displayed mileage aligns with the documented records, offering a more comprehensive and accurate assessment.

In conclusion, as the practice of odometer tampering persists, buyers must exercise caution and due diligence. Verifying mileage through reputable sources like NMVTIS is crucial to avoiding falling victim to deceptive practices and ensuring a fair and transparent transaction.

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