Gone are the days the odometer consisted of individual rolling number sets that you could hear click as the miles went by. Instead, today’s odometers are digital and typically show on a screen on the dashboard. However, far from being a thing of the past, odometer fraud has changed and grown with the times. In 2022, the practice did not die a quiet death.
Instead, according to Jalopnik.com, “The practice of rolling back either digital or mechanical odometers in used cars, known as ‘odometer rollbacks,’ increased by seven percent year-over-year with more than 1.9 million cars showing false mileage on the clock.”
While it may seem a simple enough task to wipe tons of miles off the odometer, it is not actually a process that can be done easily and quickly. Therefore, the dealership has to pay for manpower to commit the act of fraud and the time it takes to complete the action in its entirety.
Odometer fraud is considered a serious crime in Texas. It involves tampering with or altering the odometer reading of a vehicle to make it appear as if it has fewer miles than it actually does.
This can deceive potential buyers and lead to them paying more than the car is worth. In Texas, odometer fraud is punishable by fines and even imprisonment. To prevent falling victim to odometer fraud, it is recommended to have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle and obtain a vehicle history report before making a purchase.
A mechanic can help you find signs of odometer fraud. While you may not be familiar with the ins and outs of a vehicle’s engine, and you aren’t sure what to look for when you hear there might be fraud or tampering with your odometer, there are respected professionals who can help.
In fact, a mechanic can help you find signs of odometer fraud by:
- Checking the condition of the vehicle’s wear and tear, such as the brake pads, tires, and interior, to see if they match the odometer reading.
- Inspecting the engine to see if it has excessive wear or if the oil and other fluids appear to have been changed recently.
- Examining the vehicle’s maintenance records to see if they match the odometer reading.
- Using diagnostic tools to check the vehicle’s computer system for any discrepancies in the recorded mileage.
- Checking the vehicle identification number (VIN) against the odometer reading to ensure it matches the vehicle’s history and title.
Knowing the signs of dealer fraud can help you avoid being scammed, save money, and make better-informed decisions when purchasing a vehicle. It can also protect you from potential legal issues and financial damage.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked odometer fraud questions, click here.
By being aware of these signs, you can recognize when a dealer is not acting in good faith and take appropriate action to protect yourself.
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Car dealers may commit fraud for various reasons, including financial gain, pressure to meet sales quotas, or unethical business practices. Some dealers may deceive customers by misrepresenting a vehicle’s condition or history, manipulating financing terms, or adding hidden fees to the final price. It’s important for consumers to do their research, ask questions, and be aware of their rights when buying a car to avoid falling victim to fraudulent practices.
The top 5 types of dealer fraud in the US are:
- Odometer rollback fraud, where dealers tamper with the car’s odometer to show a lower mileage than the actual one.
- Financing fraud, where dealers deceive or mislead buyers into signing for loans with unfavorable terms or without their full understanding.
- Title washing, where dealers conceal a car’s history of damage, theft, or salvage by transferring it across states or altering its title documents.
- Bait-and-switch advertising, where dealers lure customers with false or misleading ads for cars they don’t have or can’t sell at the advertised price or conditions.
- Add-on or pack fraud, where dealers add unwanted or unnecessary fees, services, or products to a car’s sale price without the buyer’s knowledge or consent.
How do get a certified auto fraud lawyer? Contact Allen Stewart today.
Being a smart shopper in today’s world requires a combination of research, planning, and critical thinking. When it comes to car shopping, the following best practices can help you make a sound decision:
- Research:Before you start shopping for a car, research the models available in your price range. Look at reviews, reliability, fuel efficiency, and safety ratings.
- Set a budget:Determine how much you can afford to spend on a car, including down payment, monthly payments, insurance, and maintenance costs.
- Test drive:Take the car for a test drive to get a feel for its handling, comfort, and features.
- Negotiate:Negotiate the price of the car and any additional fees, such as dealer fees, taxes, and registration.
- Financing:Shop around for financing options and compare rates and terms from different lenders.
- Check the history:Get a vehicle history report to check for accidents, repairs, and other issues.
- Walk away if needed:If you feel pressured or uncomfortable during the car shopping process, don’t hesitate to walk away.
By following these best practices, you can become a smart car shopper and make a confident decision that meets your needs and budget.
Hiring the right lemon law attorney in Texas is crucial if you want to ensure a successful outcome for your case. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an attorney is their win record.
You’ll want to work with an attorney who has a proven track record of winning lemon law cases. This will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to move forward with your case. Remember, a seasoned lemon law attorney can help you navigate the legal process and fight for your rights as a consumer.
If you think you have been a victim of odometer fraud, contact Allen Stewart. The consultation is free.
The right lemon law attorney has a savvy staff that can help you track down the right information regarding your visits to the mechanic and any evidence needed to back up your claims that your car is a lemon. They know how things typically go in your area, and they may know the staff at the Texas DMV to be able to help move the process along more smoothly.
No matter who they know, it is guaranteed they are more well-versed in this practice than you are. Hopefully, this is your first and will be your only time experiencing the world of the Texas lemon law complaint. However, the sad fact is you won’t be the only one to face this struggle this year, and you definitely won’t be the only one in Texas. That is why there are Texas lemon law professionals to help you navigate.
These professionals can guide you in the sometimes intricate process, and they can let you know what to expect in terms of the timeline. This way, you are not further stressed by the unknowns of the process. It is hard enough to know what next step to take when your vehicle is acting up. The right Texas lemon law attorney will be there to take some of the weight off your shoulders as you navigate to victory in a lemon law complaint. Trust your gut and find that professional to help cut down on your stress today.