How To Avoid Odometer Fraud

Richard Morse, chief of the federal odometer fraud program, has this advice for consumers on how to avoid being ripped off.

  • Get a title history from the department of motor vehicles and contact all previous owners. Ask them about the mileage of the vehicle when they sold it and how it ran.
  • Take the vehicle to a reliable repair shop. A mechanic can usually tell if the vehicle's wear and tear is consistent with the odometer reading.
  • Check with an independent vehicle history database, such as Carfax.com, which will research vehicle histories for a fee. However, NHTSA officials have found such databases don't uncover all odometer fraud.
  • If your vehicle was rolled back, return it to the seller and ask the seller to remedy the situation. Results are often possible without hiring an attorney.