July 12, 2002 at 6:45 PM CDT - Updated July 12 at 4:12 AM
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.